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SierraEcho

Use of Force?

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SierraEcho

I’ll make a long story short;

I understand the three main use of force powers. But I found I confusing when is the time appropriate to use them...

During shoplifting arrest, I used minimal force. I used my cuffs and restrained him on the floor as he was fighting hard to escape. I was told by my colleagues I could have used more force and been more authoritative.

During a stop search of a particularly nasty bloke, I’m contact cover, he wouldn’t keep his hands out his pockets. After a second clear warning I decided to step forward and bring him to the floor. I’m told this was unnecessary and could have escalated the situation more... 

where is the line ? 

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Billy Blue Tac

Sorry if I sound flippant, but the line is where you can honestly justify putting it based on your perception of all the circumstances.

Edited by Billy Blue Tac

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Cs!

There isn't a line as such. If force is used and you can justify why you used such force and the legal power behind it, there should be no issue. 

Edited by Cs!

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Tempo

Know your powers.

be able to write up why you did what you did, you have seen what you have seen in these situations and did what you did for a reason, right?

think PLAN (Or whatever the nmenomic is this week) 

Proportionare

Legal

Accountable

Necessary

 

If your actions/ use of force are in line with that yoy wont go far weing and your knowledge of when to go hands on and when not to comes from experience and years on the job.

 

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stewie_griffin
36 minutes ago, Cs! said:

.. If force is used and you can justify why you used such force and the legal power behind it, there should be no issue. 

You're right in saying that there 'should' be no issue, but it's not as simple as that. In the end, your use of force will be judged by someone else who wasn't even there.

The reason that so much time is spent teaching use of force and the numerous different models that are used to explain it is because it is far from straightforward. The 'line' (in so far as it exists) is very much in the eye of the beholder.

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Cathedral Bobby

You have the power to use reasonable force to effect an arrest. Reasonable is determined by the use of force being used by the arrested person to resist arrest. Your use of force therefore needs to be proportionate to the level of force/aggression/assault directed at you or to escape. Tempo's use of the PLAN mnemonic is perfectly correct.

In the worse case scenario it can be perfectly legal and proportionate to use deadly force for very minor criminal offences, if the level of threat towards you escalates to a point where your life is at risk during an attempt to make an arrest, eg you arrest someone for shop theft, they resist and pull a knife and attack you. This moves from reasonable force to effect an arrest to reasonable force in terms of self defence. If the level of threat is 'life threatening' then lethal force is justifiable. 

It is therefore not always possible to predefine what reasonable is without understanding the full circumstances. All you can do is make very effective use of P.L.A.N.

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Funkywingnut
4 hours ago, SierraEcho said:

I’ll make a long story short;

I understand the three main use of force powers. But I found I confusing when is the time appropriate to use them...

During shoplifting arrest, I used minimal force. I used my cuffs and restrained him on the floor as he was fighting hard to escape. I was told by my colleagues I could have used more force and been more authoritative.

During a stop search of a particularly nasty bloke, I’m contact cover, he wouldn’t keep his hands out his pockets. After a second clear warning I decided to step forward and bring him to the floor. I’m told this was unnecessary and could have escalated the situation more... 

where is the line ? 

Minimal force?  Is a bit of a misnomer, reasonable force is the test.  

You use what force you deem necessary to achieve the goal of arrest, with time comes experience and you learn quite quickly that using a minimal amount of force leads to injuries.  

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Mazza
I’ll make a long story short;
I understand the three main use of force powers. But I found I confusing when is the time appropriate to use them...
During shoplifting arrest, I used minimal force. I used my cuffs and restrained him on the floor as he was fighting hard to escape. I was told by my colleagues I could have used more force and been more authoritative.
During a stop search of a particularly nasty bloke, I’m contact cover, he wouldn’t keep his hands out his pockets. After a second clear warning I decided to step forward and bring him to the floor. I’m told this was unnecessary and could have escalated the situation more... 
where is the line ? 


If your colleagues are telling you that you could have used more force then why did they not step in?

There’s absolutely no sense in going from 1 to 100 in terms of escalation because you can’t bring it down once you’ve brought it up.

If you were satisfied with how you handled his arrest and no one got injured then I really don’t see the issue. You could have used more force but the more you do, and the more injury it causes, the more you’re likely to find yourself on the sharp end of a conversation with PSD. Reasonable force is by definition the minimal amount of force necessary to effect your aim.

With regards to the contact cover and bringing someone to the ground - it sounds to me as an armchair cop that you escalated it and didn’t go through more non-contact options but I wasn’t there so I can’t definitively say. Tac comms should be your first option. Big voice, clear warnings, consider drawing your PAVA depending on the situation as the flip of the red cap is often enough to take the aggro right out of someone.

Most critically, if you can’t understand what you’ve done “wrong” then you should be saying to your colleagues, “what would you have done in the same situation, step by step?”

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Lone Wolf
1 hour ago, Funkywingnut said:

Minimal force?  Is a bit of a misnomer, reasonable force is the test.  

You use what force you deem necessary to achieve the goal of arrest, with time comes experience and you learn quite quickly that using a minimal amount of force leads to injuries.  

You are correct, there is no law that refers to 'minimum' force, but rather 'necessary', 'reasonable' and so on.

However, whoever wrote the Code of Ethics clearly didn't understand the law as section 4.3 states...

4.3


According to this standard you must use only the minimum amount of force

There is also a lot of confusion when it comes to the legal test.  I often hear it said that if it can be justified, it is fine.  That is only correct in respect of the honestly held belief of the circumstances lead to the use of force.  For example, police officer shoots a suspect dead who is pointing a plastic gun at them but they believed it was a real gun.  The actual level of force used will still be judged objectively by a court.

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Cathedral Bobby
52 minutes ago, Funkywingnut said:

Minimal force?  Is a bit of a misnomer, reasonable force is the test.  

You use what force you deem necessary to achieve the goal of arrest, with time comes experience and you learn quite quickly that using a minimal amount of force leads to injuries.  

You make a very salient point. I have seen inexperienced officers who having commenced a restraint stop part way through the control/restraint on the verbal indication of the arrested person that they will comply, only to be subsequently injured when the arrested person, feeling the removal of the control, commence their violent struggle. I believe when you commence use of force you only stop once you are confident you have control and compliance. Only at this juncture do you have time to reasonably assess the risk. If you start, then finish.

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Funkywingnut
5 minutes ago, Lone Wolf said:

You are correct, there is no law that refers to 'minimum' force, but rather 'necessary', 'reasonable' and so on.

However, whoever wrote the Code of Ethics clearly didn't understand the law as section 4.3 states...

 

 

There is also a lot of confusion when it comes to the legal test.  I often hear it said that if it can be justified, it is fine.  That is only correct in respect of the honestly held belief of the circumstances lead to the use of force.  For example, police officer shoots a suspect dead who is pointing a plastic gun at them but they believed it was a real gun.  The actual level of force used will still be judged objectively by a court.

The force used must be reasonable in the circumstance, but that test is very difficult to assess. 

The escalate to de-escalate method can hardly be used if you are always at minimal force.

some good points, thanks 

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Funkywingnut
7 minutes ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

You make a very salient point. I have seen inexperienced officers who having commenced a restraint stop part way through the control/restraint on the verbal indication of the arrested person that they will comply, only to be subsequently injured when the arrested person, feeling the removal of the control, commence their violent struggle. I believe when you commence use of force you only stop once you are confident you have control and compliance. Only at this juncture do you have time to reasonably assess the risk. If you start, then finish.

We have to be sensible, you almost always try and de-escalate the confrontation, but that’s simply not always a viable resolution.  How many times have you heard some fool say they can talk anyone down without needing to use force. Dangerous lunacy sometimes,  there are occasions where speed and aggression are key ingredients, without that you increase the risk to yourself immensely. 

Why anyone would take the word of someone they are arresting having already been put in a position that they had to use force, is totally beyond me. 

Obtain control and keep it, confrontations are statistically won by the person who goes first. If I get injured, I class that as a loss not a win. 

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Cathedral Bobby

My rule of thumb has always been that when ever I have arrested someone, if they attempt to pull away or become aggressive I will apply an arm/wrist lock or if need be take them to the ground. My first preference, even where no aggression/resistance is offered, is to cuff them. Safer for me, safer for them. I know we have this discussion on the site before, but when using S1 PACE I have routinely cuffed.

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Funkywingnut
58 minutes ago, Cathedral Bobby said:

My rule of thumb has always been that when ever I have arrested someone, if they attempt to pull away or become aggressive I will apply an arm/wrist lock or if need be take them to the ground. My first preference, even where no aggression/resistance is offered, is to cuff them. Safer for me, safer for them. I know we have this discussion on the site before, but when using S1 PACE I have routinely cuffed.

The only time I haven’t cuffed suspects, is where they are compliant and going in a van with a cage, where  they are compliant teenagers or when arrested at the police station. 

Taking violent subjects to the ground is generally the only way to gain real control. This method of prone restraint has gained quite a lot of criticism in recent times, with health and social care settings almost completely banning it. 

Handcuffs are probably the best bit of police equipment in my opinion 

 

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Cathedral Bobby
6 minutes ago, Funkywingnut said:

Handcuffs are probably the best bit of police equipment in my opinion 

I concur totally. 

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