WITNESSES are being sought by a police watchdog after a young football fan sustained a serious head injury from an on-duty officer in Barnsley town centre.

A video, which appears to show an officer hitting the boy with a baton, was shared on social media following the Reds’ South Yorkshire derby clash against Sheffield Wednesday at Oakwell on February 8.

David Ford, from the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), said: “We understand why the images that were circulated caused considerable public concern. After the footage was shared on social media, a mandatory referral was made to us in relation to the conduct of the officer.

“It is vitally important that the circumstances of the incident are subject to an independent investigation so we can fully understand what happened and impartially determine the facts.

“We have already begun to gather evidence, but would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident.”

Witnesses can email midlandstreet@policeconduct.gov.uk or ring 0800 096 9076.