Use of Force

Every day Lancashire Police officers work to keep people safe and feeling safe. This is our purpose.

It's inevitable that with 600 emergency calls coming in each day, 105 violent crimes being handled and 83 arrests being made, officers will sometimes need to use force to uphold the law and keep people safe. 

When we're considering using force our first step is conversation. Listening and speaking to resolve issues. This is always our preference but sometimes circumstances require a different approach.

If a person is refusing to comply with an officer's verbal request then they may need to use different tactics. This is particularly the case if the person is showing physical resistance. Tactics could include self defence techniques, PAVA spray, or drawing a baton or Taser.

These tactics aren't used lightly. Officers go through intensive training to make sure they understand what to use, when and how. They also receive first aid training so that they can provide support if needed.

You can find out more about our 'use of force' tactics here.

You can also see our use of force figures for 2018 here

How do we monitor our use of force?

Every time an officer uses force against someone they must complete a 'use of force' form. We use the information in these forms to flag up training requirements and officer safety issues.

Our Assistant Chief Constable holds regular meetings to review the 'use of force' data. Research consistently shows that only a small percentage of police-public interactions result in force being used.

We also provide all 'use of force' data to the Home Office every 3 months for monitoring and statistical review. This is particularly important as it helps us to spot any issues needing further attention. For example, dealing with conditions such as acute behaviour disorder (ABD).

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) also inspects all police forces in the UK, which includes the use of force.

Concerns and complaints

Each time an officer uses force they have made a decision based on a unique set of circumstances. Officers are trained to continually re-assess a situation and adjust their response as needed.

If you would like to express concerns or complain about inappropriate or excessive use of force, please contact either the professional standards department and/or the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

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