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Use of Force January 2021

Use of Force - External Panel


Day and Date: 28 January 2021

Time: 6pm to 8pm

Venue: MS Teams

Available online Y/N: Yes


Panel members- Montell Neufville Ch, Andy Watts VC, David Baptise, Myrna Loy, Elaine Keen, Marcela, Kelly, Martin White, Philip Dickenson- Earl, Hayley Miller,

Steve Chandler- HMIC

 Police -A/Sgt Vick Sanghera, PC 5017 Khan

Welcome / Apologies / Introduction

MN – Welcomes all 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.

Lead - MN

Quarterly Review

1,226 use of force recorded between 1 Oct – 31st December 2020 and 61% resulted in arrest.

17.3% (212) were female, 81.7% (1002) were male and 1% (12) were unknown.

10 officers responsible for 11% (138) of use of force.

47 Officers and 67 subjects inured in use of force.

The ethnicity table shows that if you are of a black background the use of force used is 3.84 compared to 1.0 if you were of a white back ground. If you are of an Asian back ground you are 1.16 likely to be used force on and 2.82 if you are of a mixed/other background.

Of the 1,226 Use of Force:

9% (110) 11 – 17yrs

50.4% (618) 18 – 34yrs

29.6% (363) 35 – 49yrs

9% (110) 50 – 64yrs

0.5% (6) 65+yrs

1.5% (19) Blank / Unknown

The highest recorded use of force occurred on 1 day was 32, on 22nd October 2020.

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

Out of 104 use of force, 49 took place in an ambulance.

Out of the 157 use of force in a police station, 137 took place in custody block.

Majority of the rational for use of force was protect self/others with alcohol as the dominating impacting factor.

Out of the force used the highest type of force was tactical communications at 74.7%.

Out of 51 use of force, 47 resulted in minor injuries to officers.

On 6 occasions both officer and subject were injured.

Officer data – 10 Officers use of force/ Arrested

One officer used force 22 times with 9 persons being arrested and one detained under mental health.

Another officer used force 19 times with 15 persons being arrested.

Questions from the Panel

ML- Can we use the same colour charts for subject gender, ethnicity and age as it is confusing.

VSACTION - I will speak to data analyst to get that changed.

MN – Panel needs to understand what is “other” and why is it so high on the rational and impacting factors?

VS – Action – Speak to data analyst to find out what is “other” and why its high.

MN –The panel needs to be assured officers do not use impact factors which are unlawful under the equality act such as race, gender. If they use size and build it has to be proportionate and reasonable.

VS/MN - Action plan for sub meeting to ask that question of the senior bosses to reassure the panel.

MW – Can we set a separate meeting to go through how to do a use of force form for members of panel.

VS – Action – I am happy to do that with the panel availability

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.

VS – ActionTo find out if videos can be saved longer than 28 days.

ML – Under arrest and ethnicity, how can someone be “unknown”?

VS – That is something we are telling officers to put it as their defined ethnicity of the subject.

Action - I will look into this and find out. We have put a lot of work into that.

MW – Officer 6653 has used force 22 times and only 9 arrests. The ethnicity of those he’s dealt with is balanced.  Officer 5916 has used forced 12 times with 10 of them being black and 2 white.

Are these figures fed back to the supervisors?

VS – Action point – To speak to officer supervisors and feedback the figures.

Lead - VS

Video 1   

Police have been called to a location in Dunstable, where residents in a block of flats have reported two males fighting outside. On arrival officers have found the subject covered in blood, arguing with another male. Officers have attempted to separate the males which has resulted in an argument between the subject and officers. The subject has become verbally abusive towards officer and has tried to get into the block of flats. Officers have arrested the subject due to him assaulting the officer by pushing him. The officer has used tactical communications, unarmed defence tactic, limb restraint and handcuffing as his use of force. A spit guard was used on the subject due to him spitting towards officers whilst his mouth was covered in blood.

RAG Graded - Amber

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and necessary however, the mental health and care of the subject was not taking into consideration. The panel has raised concerns that the officers should have paid attention to the subject stating he needs his medication and is suffering from mental health.

Feedback to be given to officers in relation to the lack of care for the subject’s mental health and need for medication.

Lead - VS

Video 2    

Police have been called to an incident involving a male brandishing knifes and has then started to damage a vehicle with a baseball bat. The male has then called police himself stating he will stab people in the street due to having a fall out with his partner who has walked out. Officers have arrived at the address and tried to engage with male through his bedroom window. The male has also mentioned to police on the phone he has a gun and therefore, firearm officer were deployed. Officers engaged with male through the window for a long time and the male then threatened to hurt himself and went out of sight of the officers engaging with him. Officers have forced entry into the location and used stun grenades, resulting in the male being restrained and arrested. The officer recorded his use of force as tactical communication, ground restraint and limb and body restraint.

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 however, report concern in regards to the officer not recording the use of stun grenade on his use of force. The panel has raised concern due to the high level of use of force used by using stun grenade with no mention of it. Feedback to officer in regards to not putting the significant use of force in his form.

Lead - VS

Video 3 (Custody)

The male involved in this incident has been arrest for unrelated incident and was in his cell when the use of force was used. The male was seen to be having a fit in his cell and at that point officers from custody have made their way into the cell to assist. He was violent upon arrest and was taken to hospital and declared fit to be in custody by hospital.

The health care practitioner and detention officers have attended to see the male. The male lashed out at the practitioner was kicking out, due to this the restraint was used against the male to protect all persons present.

The officer used unarmed defence tactic 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 whilst dealing with this male. The male was fitting and due to this some panel members stated that the male should not have been handcuffed but majority stated that this was necessary due to him being a risk to himself and others.

Lead - VS

Any Community Issues/ AOB

No issues.

Lead - MN

Closing Remarks

Steve Chandler - HMIC

Observations – In regards to the 50-50 split on the rating for the video, I believe that is sign of a healthy scrutiny panel. It is good to see not everyone is rating it green and that is reassuring. A valid point raised by the panel in regards to the wiping of video after 28 days.

Lead - Chair Montell Neufville

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