Data for quarter 3 shows a further reduction in the number of times officers were called upon to use force in the course of their duties. Between October – December 2018 a total of 2106 use of force reports were submitted, compared with 2141 for the previous 3 month period.
The 2105 figure represents each individual officer’s use of force at a particular policing incident; where more than one officer used force at the same incident each will submit a record of their actions. By way of an example, a single incident involving a violent detainee may necessitate as many as five Use of Force reports being submitted from five officers if custody cell-relocation tactics are deployed in line with national training guidance.
Spit and bite guards are now being used routinely across the force area, with 68 instances recorded during the reporting period, compared with Q1 (59) and Q2 (79).
The data for Taser deployments show it was used on 206 occasions. Under national directives a Taser is deemed to have been used once the officer draws it from its holster. The act of drawing the Taser, aiming it or red-dotting the aggressive party resulted in a 174 successful resolutions without the need for it to be discharged. Taser was fired successfully, angled drive stun (where the Taser was fired and only one of the probes has hit the subject and the circuit was completed when the front of the weapon was pushed onto the skin) or drive-stun (the Taser was unfired and pushed on to the skin resulting in pain compliance) – 32 times during the reporting period; this is consistent with Q1 (31) and Q2 (32).
Officers continue to be exposed to significant levels of violence; 683 use of force reports record the actions of the offender as aggressive resistance (585) or serious / aggravated resistance (98). This includes 85 incidents were officers were threatened with weapons ranging from firearms (1), knives (14) and other pointed weapons (10) and equates to over 6 incidents per day across the force area.