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Use of Force June 2020

Use of Force - External Panel


Day and Date: 25th June 2020

Time: 6pm to 8pm

Venue: MS Teams

Available online Y/N: Yes


Panel members - Montell Neufville Ch, Andy Watts VC, Lorraine Parkinson, Myrna Loy,Francesca Keen, Elaine Keen, Howard McCalla, Bipin Raja, Martin White , Shaidah Ali, Temi Akinbusoye, Jay Islam, Lauren Cox, Philip Dickenson- Earl, Hayley Miller, C/Insp Hob Hoque  Force lead, A/Sgt Vick Sanghera, PC Hayley Hunter, Jon Vale

Agenda Main Body

Welcome / Apologies / Introduction

Montell welcomed everyone to this panel meeting.

C/Insp Hoque also welcomed everyone to the group and explained that he is the force lead for Use of Force. This meeting is the first one of its kind and we will be showing body worn footage of some sort of use of force being used to the group to show the openness and transparency of Bedfordshire Police. These meetings will be quarterly where we will meet up and review footage. We will act upon the feedback that we receive from the panel and this will be fed back to the officers in the videos.

Lead - Chief Inspector Hob Hoque/ Chair Montell Neufville

Purpose of the panel and process

Montell explains 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 –What 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.

Quarterly Review

This is the first time we have produced this type of data so we are interested in seeing what you think and what type of data you would like to see moving forward. The data is from Jan-March 2020, which is the first quarterly data which has been put together by our analytic team with information we have where force has been used our officers.

So, for the first period there was 1084 times UOF has been used, this doesn’t mean that there has been a full violent roll around, it could be simply putting a pair of handcuffs on or pushing someone away from a situation so where contact has been made by a police officer or staff member. This includes PCSO’s.

64% resulted in an arrest, 49% was from an ethnic background.

So, with UOF sometimes it’s not a usual situation, I would expect that officers would have used some sort of tactical communication before getting to this point.

Here are some data tables which show age groups and ethnicities of those who have had force used upon them. This shows 64% of perceived ethnicity is white British, we can also see that 83% were males, 16% females and 1% is blank which shows a data quality issue.

We also have a breakdown of months which show when force was used, it also gives you the time of the incident so we can see our peak periods of where offending is happening and we have had to use force.

We can also breakdown locations of where use of force is being used.

Details of this presentation can be provided if necessary.

Police officers have to always give a rationale of why they have used the type of force in the first place. They should use their skills to try and stop use of force from happening before they have to physically lay hands on the individual. This could be to protect a victim, protect themselves, someone’s tried to escape etc.

The officer needs to complete a mandatory UOF form and be supported with either a statement, pocket note book or a log which confirms why it was used.

I also look after TASER so here is some information around that too. There are different level of taser such as drawing it out of the holder, “red dotting” someone. This is where it is aimed and a red laser beam comes out which indicates where the taser if fired would go. Normally this alone will ensure co-operation from the subject.

Moving forward if there is anything else you would like to see with the data then please let us know and we will try and make sure that it is available in the next quarter period.

Lead - HH

Questions from the Panel

ML –Asks around disproportionality ratios and Vick has taken away an action to make sure that forms some part of the data review next time. This will be fed back at the next meeting.

ACTION – Vick to make sure disproportionality ratios are available

MN – on the data it breaks down black males but doesn’t break down black females. Again, this will be added to the next meeting.

FK – When talking about the red dot and taser, in order to be red dotted they would have had to have drawn the taser and pointed it at them. On the pie chart it shows drawn 8 times, fired 4 and dotted 28 times. I wondered how you could have dotted 28 times and only drawn 8 times?

HH – They wouldn’t fill out if they did every single thing in one incident, it would be what was their last action they took. I can make sure I show you the form that the officers complete for transparency and it may be easier

to understand.

ML – What was the most common police rationale for using UOF?

HH – This was for the officer to protect themselves.

MW – asks around the use of warning markers and handcuffs.

MN – Stipulates that the questions need to be around the data presented but where possible we shall try and answer questions around other questions if we have time at the end.

LP – why was the word “perceived” used? Is that a technicality?

HH- The reason its used is because it’s the officer’s perception of what they believe the ethnicity is.

Lead - HH

Video 1

Police have been called by a victim of a crime where a female was assaulted and during that her handbag was snatched. The victim has managed to locate the offender at a hotel in Bedford as he has been using her cards there. The video starts from where officer arrives at the hotel.

RAG Graded – Green

The panel reported back that they were concerned about the length of time he was on the floor and that he kept saying he couldn’t breathe and no attempts were made to move him. They didn’t feel that the officer’s language was necessary either.

Lead - VS

Video 2    

Officers have been at another job and as they left they saw a vehicle with 3 people in not wearing seatbelts. The officers have seen this and shouted “put your seatbelt on” the driver has made a comment and then driven off. A short while later the officers see the vehicle parked up with the 2 passengers in still so they go over to talk to them and then the driver comes out of a nearby property. The officer said that the car was stolen and the members of the public would be arrested

RAG Graded – Amber – developmental needs

The panel reported that the officer had a responsibility to calm the situation down and that didn’t happen. The incident escalated very quickly and there were no attempts to de-escalate it. The officer should have been able to manage and control the situation and the panel felt that handcuffs were used to try and take control of the male however it just made it worse. The panel was not convinced it was necessary to use PAVA on the two females. The panel was not convinced that the officer was being honest when he said the car was stolen. He didn't provide any evidence of this or didn't appear to check this. The panel wanted this fact checked.

Lead - VS

Video 3

This a video from the Custody suite at Kempston HQ. This male was arrested for being over the prescribed limit. He has been in custody before and has tried to commit suicide so the Sgt has decided that he needs to wear anti rip clothing. He is taken to his cell to use the bathroom and then he refuses to take his clothes off.

RAG Graded – Amber going to red

The custody Sgt should have been there from the onset of the getting to the cell. There were far too many officers in the cell and it appeared very heavy handed.

ACTION – BWV of those officers in Custody

NOTE – Custody Sgt should be there from the outset

Lead - VS

Any Community Issues/ AOB

MN- How many panel members do you think we should have in these meetings going forward? I think between 8-10.

The panel members agreed.

HH- There is an internal UOF panel meeting where we meet with force leads from different departments who will come and review the videos too. This is done separately to your panel this evening. This meeting is open to panel members if they wish to attend as observers.

All the members think that The Use Of Force Scrutiny is a great initiative and thank you to all those who made this happen tonight.

Lead - MN

Closing Remarks

MN- I am looking for 4-5 people to arrange to look at the back log of BWV to sample 10% of what is outstanding so we can have some samples for Stop Search and Use of Force for the next meetings.

HH – Massive thank you for providing your time this evening and providing your comments. It is very helpful for us moving forward and I look forward to the next meeting.

The date of the next meeting is 22nd October 2020.

 Lead - Chief Inspector Hob Hoque/ Chair Montell Neufville

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