Police officers are authorised to use force in specified circumstances. They are trained in the use of force and will face numerous circumstances during their duties where the use of force is appropriate.
They receive initial Officer Safety Training and annual training where their skills and training in the equipment is assessed along with the use of scenario training.
Leicestershire Police are responsible for the delivery of training the following:
- Use of friction lock ‘stick’
- Use of Rigid cuffs
- Use of Aerosol incapacitate
- Fast Straps
- Unarmed tactics
- Tactical communications
- Police Support Unit Training
When using force officers are governed by the following legislation;
- Section 117 PACE 1984 (When an arrest is made force may be used)
- Human Rights Act 1998 (Force must always be Proportionate, Legal, officers are accountable and it must have been necessary)
- Section 3 Criminal Law Act 1967 (officers may use reasonable force in the circumstances to prevent crime)
- Common Law (An officer may use force to protect themselves or another)
This will be when making some arrests, restraining uncompliant subjects or controlling hostile demonstration. When the level of force exceeds a level that would be considered justifiable under the circumstances the actions of the officer will come under public scrutiny. These incidents frequently attract the attentions of the media, legislators, in most instances, civil and courts.
Regardless of whether the force is uncharacteristic behaviour of an individual officer, a deliberate act or the practices adopted by an organisation, the law and the public will not accept such incidents.
Recording use of force
Nationally officers are required to complete a Use of Force form whenever they use force against a person.
The information that can be extracted from these forms can be flag up training issues, bad practice and officer safety issues.
This is particularly important when identifying issues in the community such as how to deal with conditions such as Acute Behaviour Disorder (ABD). When officers complete the form they can record details such as this which can then identify training needs.
Research consistently shows that only a small percentage of police-public interactions will result in a use of force.
Between 2015-2016, Officers in Leicestershire completed 348 Use of Force forms (XLSX - 0.16MB).
This will increase with the inception of the Niche custody system which will send an automatic message to the officer in the case reminding them to complete the form.
Leicestershire Police strives to have great relations with its communities interacting on as many occasions as possible to prevent any barriers.
When the nation was faced with widespread disorder in 2011 the response of the force was swift and there was minimal disruption to the County. previous surveys have shown that 1% of people who had contact with the police said that officers threatened or force.