For the first time ever police are revealing how often they use force during their duties.
Statistics released by West Yorkshire Police during the three month period of 1 April – 30 June 2017 show there were more than 7,000 categorised instances of force used against people by officers at by West Yorkshire Police.
An overview is as follows:
- Tactical Communication (where an officer’s presence at a location with verbal communication is used to attempt to resolve the incident) was the most reported tactic with 2,554 instances (30%).
- Handcuffing of a compliant person was the second most reported tactic with 2,147 instances (28%)
- The unarmed skills tactic (this includes physical control of a person without using handcuffs or a baton) was the third most reported tactic with 1,240 instances (16%).
- Handcuffing of a non-compliant person was the fourth most reported tactic with 1,092 instances (14%). No other tactic was reported more than 161 times.
- C.E.D (Conducted Energy Device – commonly known as Taser) – was used on 62 occasions but it was only used in a firing capacity on 10 occasions.
The data is the most recent available and West Yorkshire Police is joining all other police forces to publish the data.
Asst Chief Constable Angela Williams of West Yorkshire Police, said: “All police forces police by consent.
“In the course of those duties, however, police officers must sometimes use force to protect the public and to protect themselves from harm.
“Force can mean, for example, a form of restraint, handcuffing, or use of an irritant spray.
“Officers are trained to use the minimum level of force required to resolve an incident they are dealing with. Officers are accountable for ensuring that the use of force is proportionate, lawful and is only applied when absolutely necessary. It is important that the public we serve understand that.
“We deal with thousands of calls for service at West Yorkshire Police every day – it is inevitable given the nature of the job we do to keep our communities safe that some of those calls will require the use of force.”