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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Officers Injured in Custody Units

Date of request: October 2, 2020
Reference: 982/20


  • The total number of police officers attacked by suspects in police custody centres over the past four years?
  • Of those attacks, how many were carried out using weapons – and what were the weapons?
  • How badly injured were the officers involved/what were the injuries they suffered – e.g. stab wounds?
  • If possible, can you tell me how many of the suspects were handcuffed when they carried out the attacks?
  • And can I please get a breakdown of the figures for each year?



Your request has been considered and I regret to advise you that your request is refused because we estimate that the cost of retrieving the requested information would exceed the cost limits under the Act which is currently set at £450 or 18 staff hours work. This letter represents a Refusal Notice under the Act.

This is because the information requested is not centrally recorded and would involve an extensive search of our files to find and collate it. A search carried out has identified 345 recorded occurrences where an officer was assaulted in a custody unit since 2018. To establish a figure for the information you are seeking such as weapons, how badly the officer was injured and if the suspects were handcuffed would involve a manual review of all recorded incidents to ascertain the detail you are seeking. We would also need to review all occurrences recorded for the years 2016 and 2017 which we are yet to identify. It is estimated it would take considerably longer than 18 hours to comply.

If you would like to refine your request in order to bring it down to a more manageable level, we may be able to supply you with some of the information you require. This can be done by omitting questions two, three and four of your request.

Due to the gravity of recent offences against police officers in custody, and the public interest in transparency, we can confirm that no Avon and Somerset Constabulary officers have died on duty within the timescale of your request.

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