Use of force - 2018 figures

Every day Lancashire Police receive over 600 emergency calls, deal with 105 violent crimes, and make 83 arrests. While most matters are resolved amicably, it's inevitable that sometimes police officers will need to use force to uphold the law and keep communities safe. 

When we consider using force our starting point is conversation. This is how we aim to solve issues, by listening and talking. In 2018, our officers did this 1,711 times. At the opposite end of the scale are tactics like using a firearm, baton, and Taser. Our officers receive specialist training to help them to know when and how to use these. 

Here are our figures on how many times officers used each type of force during April 2018 - March 2019:


If you'd like to understand more about each type of force take a look at our explanation.

What circumstances led to us using force?

When officers use force they must complete a 'use of force' form. We use these forms to identify training requirements, officer safety issues, and any other areas that require attention. Below is a breakdown of the circumstances surrounding our use of force.

How a person behaved

Sometimes officers face resistance when carrying out their duties.

We record 6 levels of resistance:

Level of resistance Behaviour
Compliance The person offers no resistance or complies with a police officer's request
Verbal and gestures The person refuses verbally to comply or their body language indicates non-compliance
Passive The person sits or stands still and will not move
Active The person pulls away or pushed the officer without making a deliberate attempt to strike or injure the officer
Aggressive The person fights with the officer - kicking or punching, wrestling or biting
Serious or aggravated Any assault where there's a possibility of great bodily harm or death including a person producing a weapon

In 2018, most instances of 'use of force' showed active resistance, where the person pulls away or pushes the officer (31%). Some were compliant (12%), some resisted verbally or with gestures (10%) and a small number (4%) were aggravated.

Why did the officer use force?

When deciding to use force, officers consider the situation carefully and reassess the situation as circumstances change.

Most of the time officers used force to protect, whether that's themselves (21%), other officers (15%), or the person involved (11%). Officers used force in 11% of instances to help them to arrest someone, 11% of the time to stop an offence from happening, and 1% of the time to help them to search someone.

Is there a difference between the number of men and women affected?

In 2018, our police officers used force more frequently against people who they identified as male (59%) than female (20%) but weren't able to identify the gender of 21% of people. This can happen in crowded situations, particularly where people are wearing jeans and hoodies. 

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