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Home Office releases first national Police Use of Force statistics for England and Wales

13 Dec 2018

New Home Office statistics show that restraint tactics, such as handcuffing, were the most common type of force used by police across England and Wales.

Figures released today cover the year ending March 2018, and are the first nationally aggregated data which forces have provided on their officers' use of force. 

This statistical release is treated as experiential by the Home Office, as forces look to better adapt how they collect information on how they work for the public. 

National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Self Defence and Restraint, DAC Matt Twist said: 

“Officers have always had to record all uses of force in their evidential notes and statements, to explain why it was used, and how it was lawful, proportionate and necessary in the circumstances. This release of this new national data shines a light on how police use force, and offers unprecedented transparency to the public; strengthening the vital relationship between the police and the public that is at the heart of our model of policing by consent.

“Police are charged with maintaining order and keeping people safe. In fulfilling those duties, they will sometimes need to use force on behalf of the state to protect the public and themselves form harm.

“Police interact with the public every day - force is not used in the majority of those interactions.  These statistics show that when force is used, it is mostly low level, and done to protect those who pose a threat to themselves, officers or others.

“Police officers are carefully making operational assessments and are using the absolute minimum amount of force to resolve a situation. They are also using force as you would expect them to, in situations such as arrest or restraint to protect others.

We will be working to continuously improve the quality and consistency of this data to maximise its use. We want to see these statistics informing future planning and learning on training and equipment, in order to provide the best possible service and protection to the public.”

The Home Office statistics can be found here