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Police officers and staff are confronted with difficult situations every day. They walk towards danger when others walk away, thinking and acting quickly to keep people safe and maintain order. In fulfilling those duties, we will sometimes need to use force to protect the public and ourselves from harm. We are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary and other options would or have been ineffective.

Lethal or potentially lethal force should only be used when absolutely necessary in self defence or in the defence of others against the threat of death or serious injury. Officers will always use the minimum force honestly and reasonably judged to be necessary.

The National Decision Model (NDM) is a decision-making model used throughout the police service. It is designed to assist operational officers, planners, advisers and commanders to manage their response to a situation in a legal, reasonable and proportionate way and is used for decision making around many things including the use of force ensuring it is necessary and justified.

Any physical restraint, handcuffing, incapacitant spray, Taser through to use of baton gun or firearms, is classed as a use of force and will be recorded along with the decision making, rationale and the full facts around the incident. These records and any body worn camera footage will be stored, examined and scrutinsed as part of our wider scrutiny process.

Use of force statistics

Click here for our use of force statistics for April 2023 to December 2023. 

Click here for our use of force statistics for April 2022 to March 2023. 

Click here for our use of force statistics for April 2021 to March 2022. 

Click here for our use of force statistics for April 2020 to March 2021.