Police have been criticised for allowing bouncers to restrain revellers after a city-centre brawl – despite enough officers being on the scene to deal with the incident.
The force has also been ordered to improve the treatment of prisoners as one of the men arrested made repeated pleas for medical help but was left in a cell for several hours with a fractured arm.
The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) was asked to probe operations in Aberdeen on October 26 last year after a fight broke out in Bridge Street in the early hours.
A total of 19 officers were dispatched, with bouncers initially breaking up the brawl.
The door stewards were allowed by police to continue restraining five of the men in the aftermath of the fracas.
One of them was Ian Corsar, 39, who was taken with three others to the new custody centre at Kittybrewster, which opened in June last year.
He told staff he had broken his arm, but this was not recorded and a medic on the premises was not informed of the apparent injury.
Staff eventually phoned a doctor at 8am.
Mr Corsar was examined about two hours later, and a hospital X-ray around 1pm the following day confirmed he had suffered a fracture to his elbow.
The failure to get medical attention sooner was described as “unforgivable” by one MSP, who is also a former senior policeman.
Commissioner Kate Frame said officers had been slow to take control of the incident and that there had been delays in getting Mr Corsar medical help.
Ms Frame said: “As soon as sufficient numbers of officers required to control the situation were in attendance at the initial incident, the door stewards who had been assisting with the physical restraint of the individuals involved should not have been allowed to continue.
“It is imperative that officers assume immediate responsibility for the restraint and arrest of individuals, removing the risk and responsibility from members of the public.”
She added that Mr Corsar’s complaints about his arm should have been recorded by police staff, with medical attention being sought “at the earliest opportunity.”
Last month, Mr Corsar admitted three charges of assault following the Bridge Street incident and will be sentenced on May 20.
Assistant Chief Constable Derek Robertson said: “Police Scotland acknowledges the findings and recommendations of the PIRC report.
“A review has been conducted, learning points identified and improvements have already been implemented.”
MSP Graeme Pearson, who is Labour’s justice spokesman and former director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said police should have “taken command and control ” at the scene of the brawl.
He added it was “unforgivable” that medical assistance for the prisoner had not been sought sooner.
He said: “Where police have such a prevalence of officers, they should have taken command of the situation and control of the situation. They have obviously failed to do that.
“It is unforgivable that in this case they failed to obtain medical support. It is imperative that officers and staff obtain the proper medical assistance at the earliest opportunity.
“I am sure that Police Scotland will take steps to insure that lessons are learned in respect of this case. In many respects it is a very unusual set of circumstances and I thought we had learned these lessons years ago.”
Kevin Stewart, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, who sits on Holyrood’s justice sub-committee for policing, said: “I hope police in Aberdeen take due cognisance of the recommendations made by PIRC and do everything possible to ensure that the circumstances do not happen again in the future.”
In June, Warren Fenty, 20, of Aberdeen, died at Kittybrewster custody centre following his arrest.
A fatal accident inquiry is due to be held but no date has yet been set by the Crown Office.
Mr Corsar could not be contacted for comment last night.