South Holland police second in league for ‘use of force’

Lincolnshire Police news.
Lincolnshire Police news.

Police in South Holland and Boston used “force” in 353 incidents between April-June, new figures show.

The total is the second highest of the four police areas in the county.

Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor.

Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor.

Police are now required by the Home Office to issue details of the number of times officers use force in the course of their duties.

The requirement is aimed at increasing transparency and providing greater reassurance to the public that force, when used is proportionate, lawful, accountable and necessary in the circumstances.

Across the county, there were more than 1,500 use of force cases – more than 90 civilians were injured and more than 60 officers were hurt in the incidents.

Lincolnshire Police Deputy Chief Constable Craig Naylor says it will not be possible to make comparisons yet as the data published today (Wednesday) is the first of its kind.

He said: “Whilst this new initiative means that officers are now required to submit details of the number of times they use force and the nature of that force, it provides us and the Police and Crime Commissioner with a suite of information which holds us to account to the public we serve.”

The first statistics of their kind show that in the three months between April-June, Lincolnshire officers reported 1,572 instances where they used force to restrain an individual.

Mr Naylor said: “In percentage terms, that is 3.5 per cent of the total number of incidents we dealt with in that period which was 44,935 and from that total, 3,012 arrests were made.”

The Deputy Chief Constable says that ‘use of force’ can be as low level as merely applying handcuffs to a compliant person being arrested to the higher end where violence is threatened to a police officer and the officer uses proportionate force to enforce an arrest.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Marc Jones says he fully supports transparency in this area.

Mr Jones said: “It’s really important the police are as open to public scrutiny as possible. As long as the systems in place are not overly complicated and waste officers time it is important that both I and the public have the information we need to hold the force to account.”

• Lincolnshire Police says “protect self” (1,152) was the main reason officers gave for using force.

Figures show the second highest (925) was to effect arrests and the third (874) to protect fellow officers.

Some 91 use of force cases involved police deploying Tasers – there were 62 incidents where subjects were red dotted (which means the Taser is ready to be fired) and only ten where Tasers were actually fired.

The figures also reveal a catalogue of assaults against Lincolnshire’s police officers.

Some 50 officers were assaulted, 36 were spat at and 21 were “violently threatened with a weapon”.

Figures show 64 officers were injured during use of force, all of them receiving minor injuries with just five needing medical attention.

In 94 use of force cases the subjects received minor injuries.

• Use of force cases in other areas were: Lincoln and West Lindsey (541), North and South Kesteven (347) and East Lindsey (298).

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