Q2 data for use of force recorded for July to September 2018 shows a reduction in occasions when force has been used (2,141) compared to the previous reporting period (2,384). This total for Q2 is more consistent with the previous totals being reported so reverses the increase identified in Q1. Reporting requirements and processes introduced in 2017 are well established now so it would be expected that greater consistency quarter to quarter will be achieved.
Recorded uses of spit and bite guards continue to increase with 79 reported uses during Q2. This is a further increase to the number reported for Q1 (59), which was in itself almost double the number reported during Q4 of the previous year. Following the phased roll-out of spit and bite guards all officers who will carry them have now been trained and issued with a spit and bite guard. Their level of use will continue to be monitored, although the uses to-date have not been generating public complaints which reassures of their use being appropriate.
Reported uses of force against a black subject (11.3% of the total) remain disproportionately high when considered alongside overall demographic data. However, the disproportionality evident here is similarly reflected in the exercise of other police powers including stop and search and arrest. Work is ongoing to further analyse this disproportionality by overlaying socio-economic data so that the extent of any issue can be better understood. This will be progressed as part of our work to implement the recommendations of the Lammy Review.
Officers and staff working in custody have now received training to develop their ability to manage aggression and potential aggression through de-escalation of situations as an alternative to relying on tactical options of physical intervention. Opportunities to deliver this training to other operational officers is now being considered, particularly for those working in central and East Bristol.