What training do officers receive in 'use of force'?

In 2018, 21% of suspects showed signs of mental health issues and there were 142 incidents of officers being assaulted. This is why it's so important that officers know how to quickly assess a situation and respond appropriately. Police officers need to be alert to mental health issues while keeping the suspect and themselves as safe as possible.



To help police officers to judge what force to use, when, and how to carry it out they receive personal safety and first aid training. New police officers attend a 5-day training course and all officers attend a 2-day refresher course every year. First aid training forms a key component of this course. Officers are also briefed on our vision and values and are held to account on our ethics, which help to guide decision making.

Throughout all personal safety training, officers are assessed to ensure that they are suitably qualified and skilled to use a variety of techniques and that they fully understand their legal obligations whenever using force.

Instructor supervising trainees holding shields

Lancashire Police officers are trained in the following areas:

  • Holding effective conversations
  • Self-defence
  • Using handcuffs
  • Using a baton
  • Using PAVA spray
  • Using limb restraints
  • Policing events such as football matches and protests

When using force, officers are governed by the following legislation: 

  • Section 117 PACE 1984 (when an arrest is made force may be used)
  • Human Rights Act 1998 (force must always be proportionate, legal, officers are accountable, and it must have been necessary)
  • Section 3 Criminal Law Act 1967 (officers may use reasonable force in the circumstances to prevent crime)

This tends to be when making some arrests, restraining non-compliant subjects or controlling a hostile demonstration. 


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