Government response: The Home Office’s response on police use of force data

Home Office Building - London - by .Martin. via Flickr
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A Home Office spokesperson said:

“Our police reforms have overhauled the previous cumbersome regime of top-down targets and unnecessary bureaucracy.

“But when officers take the difficult decision to deploy force it is vital that they can be scrutinised by the people they serve.

“These rules changes which are police led bring unprecedented transparency and reinforce the proud British model of policing by consent.”

Background:

  • The Government is committed to improving transparency and accountability on the police use of force, which is why in 2014, the then Home Secretary asked former CC David Shaw (Chief Constable for West Mercia until July 2016) to lead a review into what data should be recorded and published.

  • The Review recommended the police record and publish the ethnicity, age, location and outcome of all serious use of force by police officers, including physical restraint and TASER ® X26. All recommendations were accepted by the then Home Secretary and the police are now working to implement this new data collection system.

  • The Use of Force review, its recommendations and the decisions on what to record were all police led – no rules have been imposed by the Home Office.

  • We expect forces to publish data locally and a sub-set of the data collected will form part of the overall Home Office 2017-18 Annual Data Requirement.

  • From 1 April, all police forces across England and Wales are expected to have commenced recording a broad range of use of force data including the reason force was used, injury data, the gender, ethnicity and age of the individual, the location of the incident and the outcome of the incident. This system consolidates previous forms of data collection, such as the monitoring of conducted energy device use.

  • This July will see police forces publish their use of force data locally for the first time – something they will do on a quarterly basis thereafter. We welcome the progress made by the police to date and the work of the National Police Chiefs’ Council in driving forward this programme of work.

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