Police use of force data criticised
11 July 2017
THE GOVERNMENT has defended a new process that requires police officers to complete a 10-page form every time they use force against someone.
Since April officers have to record details every time they use handcuffs, CS spray or draw their baton along with the ethnicity and age of those involved, with the first set of data being published locally by forces this summer.
Home secretary Amber Rudd claims the new rules will allow increased safeguards and transparency required for the introduction of the new Taser X2 device and also allow meaningful comparison of the effectiveness of different techniques and tactics for the first time.
Operational lead on policing for the Police Federation Simon Kempton expressed his concerns over the extra level of bureaucracy, he told the BBC: "We will now be able to argue, with solid evidence, that in comparison to the huge numbers of incidents we attend, we rarely have to resort to using force.”
He added that the data would demonstrate that police "always try to use the lowest level of force available to us".
The government has hit back saying that the new process will not only provide valuable data but is actually aimed at reducing bureaucracy. A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our police reforms have overhauled the previous cumbersome regime of top-down targets and unnecessary bureaucracy.
“But when officers take the difficult decision to deploy force it is vital that they can be scrutinised by the people they serve. These rules changes which are police led bring unprecedented transparency and reinforce the proud British model of policing by consent.”