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Use of Force April 2021

Use of Force - External Panel


Day and Date: 22 April 2021

Time: 5.04pm to 7.24pm

Venue: MS Teams

Available online Y/N: Yes


Panel members

Montell Neufville Ch

Andy Watts VC

Elaine Keen – Community Panel Member

Marcella – Community Panel Member

Lauren – Community Panel Member

Francesca Keen – Community Panel Member

Hina Shafi – Community Panel Member

Martin White - Community Panel Member 


SP 1415 Nick Skipworth

SP 1770 Paul Sandwell

CH INSP 141 Racheal Glendenning

CH INSP 1328 Hobibul Hoque

DS 832 Sophia Bartlett

SGT 6579 Vick Sanghera

PS 6973 Katie Beumont

PC 619 Andrew Parsons

Comms Johnathan Vale

Agenda Main Body

Welcome / Apologies / Introduction

MN – Welcomes all, goes through previous minutes
and goes through introductions of all that are in attendance.

Lead - Sergeant Vick Sanghera/ Chair Montell Neufville

Purpose of the panel and process 

Explain to the group what they will be seeing and what they are expected to be doing whilst as acting as Panel members. This will be to gain all your opinions of the videos watched and then collate a common panel view. We will also RAG rate it. This is (RED, AMBER or GREEN)

Green is good, Amber is that there is learning needed, Red is unacceptable. 

In use of force we will use an Acronym called PLANTER :

P - Was the use of force Proportionate for the risk faced by the officer?

L - Was the length of time the force used acceptable?

A - Do the actions of the member of the public warrant force to be used?

N- Was it necessary to use force?

T – Was the type of force used appropriate?

E – Was it ethical to use force in the situation?

R – Was it reasonable for the officer to use force?

HMIC say the minimum amount of force should be used, we as a panel want to make sure that Bedfordshire Police are adhering to this requirement

Summary of Use of Force Firearms

SP 1770 Paul Sandwell Summary of Firearms Use of Force -

140 Armed officers across Beds/Cambs and Hearts.

8 cars with armed officers are on the roads 24/7. Two officers reside in each car and are armed at all times in order to operate across all 3 forces.

Rough breakdown;

1 car with 2x armed officers in Beds

1 car with 2x armed officers in Hearts

1 car with 2x armed officers in Cambs

1 car with 2x armed officers at Luton Airport

Each officer receives a rigorous selection process and needs to have at least 2 years in force. The training course is 13-weeks and upon completion the armed officer is trained to a basic level.

A further 4-week course following this will develop further skills and trains the officers to carry higher level arms and utilise armed tactics.

Officers will carry a handgun in a leg holster as well as higher powered firearms in vehicles.

Cars are on the road 24/7 and in a typical day are gong to every kind of job that police constables go to. They are also trained in advanced first aid so will be deployed to incidents where aid is required.

In Bedfordshire, Authority for armed response is determined by Oscar 1. This Inspector will review the incident and justify the use of armed officers and will authorise and send any number of armed response vehicles.

A basic level of response will involve 3 cars with 2x officers in each.

Across all 3 forces there have been Approximately 1,000 jobs a year where armed officers are deployed.

Use of Force Quarterly Review

1,139 Use of Force recorded between 1 Jan – 31 March 2021 and 59.7% resulted in an arrest

18.6% (212) were female, 80.1% (921) were male and 1.3% (6) were unknown.

12 officers responsible for 12% (135) of use of force.

34 Officers and 63 subjects inured in use of force.

The ethnicity table shows that if you are of a black background the use of force used is 4.38 compared to 1.38 if you were of a white back ground. If you are of an Asian back ground you are 1.87 likely to be used force on and 3.94 if you are of a mixed/other background.

Of the 1,139 Use of Force:

9.3%    (106)    11 – 17yrs

52.9%  (602)    18– 34yrs

28.4%  (323)    35 – 49yrs

8.7%    (99)      50 – 64yrs

0.3%    (4)        65+yrs

0.4%    (5)        Blank / Unknown

The highest recorded use of force occurred on 1 day was 28, on both 2nd January and 20th February 2021.

Use of force occurred mostly in a dwelling at late afternoon and evening.

Out of 58 use of force, 22 took place in an ambulance.

Majority of the rational for use of force was Protect Self and/or Protect Other Officers.

Out of the force used the highest type of force was tactical communications at 77.4%.

Out of 101 use of force, 34 resulted in minor injuries to officers.

On 7 occasions both officer and subject were injured.

Officer data – 12 Officers responsible for 12% of Use of Force.

One officer appeared in Top 10 for Use of Force in February and March.

Questions from the Panel

MN – 40% of the time force is used without an arrest. Follow-up requested. Panel needs to understand what is “other” and why is it so high on the rational and impacting factors?

VS – ACTION – Data Analyst has been spoken to. Given the forms that officers are asked to fill out, this is the only data that can be provided at this time. Other avenues are being looked into.

HH – Ongoing action is being taken regarding the “Other” box.

MN – Can the videos where certain types of force is used, be saved longer than 28 day even if it doesn’t lead to an arrest. The panel agrees for the videos to be kept for longer periods.

RG – ACTION Potentially will be kicked in before the end of the month. Chasing up with ICT.

MN – Can we check that videos where high levels of force (i.e.; BATON, TASER or PAVA) are used are automatically saved?

VS – ACTION – I will find that out from Chief Inspector Glendenning.

MN – We find when there are no prosecutions that the recordings drop off the system. We need this to be retained so the panel can watch the videos.

VS – ACTION - Looking into solutions regarding the Use of Force forms to ensure that the Data is retained. Will hopefully resolve this issue.

MN – It’s very difficult to find the reason why officers used Use of Force when Body Worn is not available and the Use of Force Forms do not provide context.

VS – ACTION – Proposals are being made going forward for use of Force Forms to be modified so that they have unique reference numbers and provide context on circumstances, impact factors, etc

MN – Looking at the figures, officer 6653 and 6233 have used force vastly disproportionately in comparison to their colleagues. Are the supervisors aware?

HH – ACTION – I’ll speak to the officer supervisors and feedback these figures.

Video 1   

Police have been called to a location in Bedford as the control room has received an abandoned call from the address. On arrival, officers have seen a male leaving in a rush and have found the flat door open and the victim in distress. The victim has identified the male who has just left and officers have given chase. The male has jumped a metal gate and attempted to hide behind some garages and a taser officer by himself has followed by also jumping the metal gate. The male has hidden behind the garages where some trees are obstructing an easy view to him and the officer has drawn his taser and told the male to come out. The male has complied and has been arrested with handcuffs being applied in a rear-stack position. After being arrested the male has attempted to resist and get away from the officer, but has been restrained. The male has made a comment that he was feeling faint and proceeded to lie down on the floor, and then was escorted to a police van after the metal gate was opened. Other units also arrived on scene, including ARV.

The officer used tactical communications, taser and non-compliant handcuffing as recorded in his use of force.

RAG Graded - Green

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and necessary due to the threat they were faced with. The panel did feel that the use of language by referring to the suspect as “poppet” was not necessary and could have aggravated the situation. Feedback to officer will be given regarding the use of this word.

Video 2    

Subject has been seen by officers’ multiple times in a single day at a location hanging out in large groups which have been moved along. On  the latest interaction, officers have asked for details from the subject in order to deliver a fixed-penalty notice. The male has not given his details and challenged the officer on why he is being spoken to and then the subject has been told he was going to be arrested for breaching lockdown. The officer has then taken the subject to the floor. The male has protested, saying that his hand is broken and has started to scream and cry. Eventually the subject has provided the officer with his other hand and he has continued to scream and shout whilst in handcuffs. He was spoken to in the van, he provided his details and was given a fine. His hand was not broken.

The officer used tactical communications, non-compliant handcuffing, unarmed defence techniques and ground restraint as recorded on use of force.

RAG Graded – Amber

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and necessary, however the actions the officer has taken by not engaging with the subject would need to be taken into consideration. The panel raised concerns that the officer used a swear word during the interaction

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and necessary, however the actions the officer has taken by not engaging with the subject would need to be taken into consideration. The panel raised concerns that the officer used a swear word during the interaction and used repetitive language rather than attempting to de-escalate the situation, overall creating a strong negative experience.

Video 3 (Custody)

The male involved in this incident has been arrested for an unrelated incident and was in his cell when the use of force was used. He was fine overnight and caused no issues in custody. He has warning markers for self-harming. He was brought to the custody desk to be charged and the officer has charged him with the offences, however because he has breached a court order he will be detained until the next day. He has then been returned to the cell and the male was seen attempting to bite his wrists. He has been taken to the floor by multiple officers and detained to prevent him harming himself. Eventually the male has calmed down.

The officers used tactical communications, limb and body restraint and non-compliant handcuffing as recorded in the use of force.

RAG Graded – Green

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and necessary when dealing with this male. Praise was given to the fact that the male was spoken to in a calm manner and the level of care given to keep the male from hurting himself. There was a concern that the officers should have been utilising tactical communication with the male more during the initial interaction but was overall agreed that in this instance the silence may have been better.

Video 4

Police have been called to enact the arrest of the subject on an emergency re-call to prison. Subject has said that he would not be arrested and would kill himself and has taken a knife with him into his bedroom. Police negotiators have attended and communicated with the male for over an hour with no success. It has then come to the point where officers have deemed it necessary to use force to preserve the subject’s safety. The officer has interacted with the male, expressed instruction to drop the knife and then fired the taser. The subject has let go of the knife and the officer has been wounded in the interaction. The male has been handcuffed and another officer has spoken to the subject to ensure that his welfare is cared for. A paramedic was also on scene and ensured the male was cared for.

The officers used tactical communications, taser and non-compliant handcuffing.

RAG Graded – Green

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and necessary when dealing with this subject. It was deemed that the use of force via the taser was proportionate and that the aftercare given to the male was of an exceptional quality. Praise in particular was given to the taser officer, who sustained an injury in the course of his duties.

Any Community Issues/ AOB

No issues.

Closing Remarks

Superintendent Skipworth and Sandwell offered their thanks. Nothing further to report

Lead - Chair Montell Neufville

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