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Met release figures on use of force

REPORT: The Metropolitan Police

TODAY (AUGUST 1) The Metropolitan Police Service published for the first time figures on the use of force, in support of the Home Office Annual Data Review (ADR) requirement.

The Met began the new counting process on Saturday, April 1 and the first set of data, up until the end of June, includes tactics available to officers from taking hold of someone’s arm, handcuffing a person who appears compliant, deploying a police dog, using a baton, CS spray, Taser or a firearm.

The data is broken down by borough and officer's role and includes the gender, ethnicity and age of the individuals concerned, as well as the times and locations of the incidents.

12,605 incidents of force against people by individual officers were recorded for this period. Of those, 10,925 were against men, 1,643 against women and 37 against transgender individuals.

Most incidents were against men aged between 18 and 34 years with 6404 incidents, and breaking the data down further, 45% of people were white, 36% per cent black and 10% per cent from the Asian community, and nearly 14% of people were believed to have mental health issues.

The total number of tactics recorded are 18,691, as officers may have used more than one in any situation, each of which, whilst recorded on the same form, is counted separately.

The most reported tactic was handcuffing a compliant person - 5,397, and the most recent piece of equipment being trialled in London custody suites, spit guards, were used 25 times in this period.

One of the more serious use of force techniques is Taser. Records show it was fired in 10.5% of cases where it was deployed, so in 89.5% of cases over this time period it was used but not fired.

Speaking on the report, Commander Matt Twist said:

“The collation of data in this way is a positive step for the Met. It gives senior officers an enhanced ability to scrutinise the decisions officers take daily, and help influence the way we train officers in use of force tactics, and to ensure we are giving them the right equipment.

“It will also ensure transparency to the public who will get a better idea of what officers face on a day-to-day basis.

“This data will be published on the Met’s website periodically through the year with the agreement that each participating force will publish their data at least quarterly.”

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