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Use of Force July 2021

Use of Force - External Panel


Day and Date: 29 July 2021

Time: 5.11pm to 7.23pm

Venue: MS Teams

Available online Y/N: Yes


Panel members

Montell Neufville Chair

Martin White – Vice Chair Panel Member

Hina Shafi – Vice-Chair, Community Panel Member

Marcella Taylor-Smith – Community Panel Member

Francesca Keen – Community Panel Member

Phil Dickson-Earle – Community Panel Member

David Baptiste – Community Panel Member

Kelly Sholagbade – Community Panel Member

Theresa Hatchett – Community Panel Member

Elaine Keen – Community Panel Member

OPCC Chief of Staff Clare Kelly


SGT 6579 Vick Sanghera

PC 6579 Omerr Khan

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

Use of Force Quarterly Review

1,308 Use of Force recorded between 1st April – 30th June 2021 and 77.6% resulted in an arrest

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

14 officers responsible for 16% (168) of use of force.

41 Officers and 50 subjects inured in use of force.

The ethnicity table shows that if you are of a black background the use of force used is 4.58 compared to 1.0 if you were of a white back ground. If you are of an Asian ethnicity you are 1.43 likely to be used force on and 2.90 if you are of a mixed/other background.

Of the 1,308 Use of Force:

9.3%    (138)    11 – 17yrs

52.9%  (671)    18– 34yrs

28.4%  (350)    35 – 49yrs

8.7%    (114)    50 – 64yrs

0.3%    (13)      65+yrs

0.4%    (22)      Blank / Unknown

The highest recorded use of force occurred on 1 day was 33 on the 29th May 2021.

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

Out of 111 use of force, 51 took place in an ambulance (more than double the previous quarter).

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 74%.

Out of 101 use of force, 41 resulted in minor injuries to officers.

2 officers were deemed to be severely injured.

Officer data – 14 Officers responsible for 16% of Use of Force.

Two of these officers appeared in Top 10 for Use of Force in February and March.

Questions from the Panel

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– RESULT This has now been extended and officers can now save Non-Evidential footage for three months. Comms Team will be sending information out to officers in the next couple of days.

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

VS – RESULT – An extra column has been added to the Use of Force form to ask the question if BWV has been activated, but it’s not been in long enough to see if this has had an impact yet.

MN – Thank you, we will keep an eye on that for another three months to see if this impacts the data

Question relating to the videos;

DB – During the fourth video with the male on the police van, after he was arrested why did officers detain the person on the flloor for so long when there was a van right next to them. Why did they wait for another van to arrive when they had a police van they could have placed him in already?

VS – ACTION – I will go away and find out why officers did not use the van on this particular instance.

Video 1   

Neighbours have called police to report a subject acting strangely over a couple of days. One of the neighbours had said that she has a twelve and a thirteen-year-old, and the male’s behaviour has scared them. He has been shouting and swearing at night. Police have arrived and checked the male, learning he had Warning Markers for Mental Health and Violence.

Officers spent a long period speaking to the male, whose behaviour has led them to making an arrest. The subject has become aggressive, leading officers then using force to detain him further with PAVA being utilised. After requesting transport, the officers have got the subject to the vehicle and in the process the subject has struggled and then has spat at an officer. Post arrest, the male was taken to hospital and no further action was taken as it was clear that this was a case of a severe mental breakdown.

The officer used tactical communications, PAVA drawn and used and non-compliant handcuffing as recorded in the use of force.

RAG Graded – Green 3

The panel concluded that the initial restraint UDT (which was grabbing and holding the DP) was justified. However the use of PAVA was not the minimum amount of force needed and was not proportionate. This was  excessive.

Additionally the panel concluded that the DP did not deliberately spit or attempt to spit at at officer as written on the log.

It is also important to ensure that all officers advise DP’s how to teat the effects of PAVA spray

Video 2    

The circumstances are officers have been pursuing a stolen vehicle. The subject in the stolen vehicle has crashed the vehicle during the chase and then left the vehicle and made off from officers. Officers have given chase on foot and officers have drawn and warned the subject that they have taser, and then fired. The taser has missed and the officer has continued to follow. The subject has drawn his belt and attempted to use it as a weapon, but has then opted to continue running instead. The subject managed to get away whilst on foot and has not been located.

The officer has used tactical communications, taser has been drawn and fired and PAVA has been drawn.

RAG Graded – Green 2

The panel has concluded that this is use of force was justified and proportionate. The reason for this grading is that there is an understanding that officers are expected to chase offenders and attempt to arrest them, which is exactly what has transpired during this exchange.

The panel did not agree that a taser should be fired at a subject who was running away from an officer. This was not proportionate and this should be advised to the officer.

Video 3 (Custody)

The subject involved in this incident has been arrested the night previous for a failure to appear at Court. When the subject has been brought in he was quite intoxicated and was placed in a cell overnight for the purposes of sobering him up and allowing him to be taken to Court the next day. During his time in custody, he has been asking for medication, however he has been assessed medically by the in-custody health care professional who has stated he is not due any medication at that point. The medication in this instance would have been pain killers for relief. The next morning, he has been brought to the front desk because SERCO have come to Kempston Custody to collect him. He has then refused to go to court due to wanting his medication, but the health care professional has once again stated he is not due any. This has led to force being used at the desk and once the force has been used the male has been picked up and removed.

The officers used tactical communications, Unarmed Defensive Tactics and Non-Compliant Handcuffing as recorded in the use of force.

RAG Graded – Green 1

The panel has reported that the use of force was proportionate and justified. It was deemed that the use of force exhibited through custody was handled professionally and that the observation of the force used by the two Sergeants was also appreciated.

The panel advised the force to feed back to all those involved that the situation was handled well.

Video 4

This incident has taken place on a high street during a busy night out. The subject has been intoxicated and had decided to climb up onto the top of a police van. Whilst the subject has been on top of the van he has been actively goading police officers and, with his actions and may have caused damage to the top of the van. Officers have surrounded the van and waited for him to come down whilst requesting additional units. As the male has jumped down he has been grabbed by officers, PAVA has been drawn and used. Members of the public who have been watching have come closer as leg restraints have been used.

The officers used tactical communications, ground restraints, PAVA drawn and used, limb/body restraint and non-compliant handcuffing.

RAG Graded – Red 7

The panel concluded that the use of force was not proportionate, not justified and not necessary. The swearing used by the officer during the interaction was counter-productive and could escalate the situation rather than de-escalate. The use of PAVA was not necessary and not justified. Whilst the use of handcuffs was considered proportionate, overall the panel concluded the officer being observed through this interaction had lost control of the situation.

Any Community Issues/ AOB

No issues

Closing Remarks

Superintendent Skipworth is working on use of force training. Further information will be shared with the panel in due course

organising some training for the panel in order to sharpen their skills.

Some of the panel are going to be taking part in the Joint Protective services Use of Force panels covering Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Nothing further to report. 

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