On this page, you'll find information around:

  • why we use force
  • what type of force we use
  • the training we give
  • how you can see when we use force

Why we use force

When we respond to incidents, we’ll always try to talk to you to work out how best we can help.

However, sometimes we will need to use force in order to:

  • arrest someone
  • stop members of the public being injured
  • stop someone injuring themselves or our officers
  • stop damage to property

What type of force we can use

We can use force in a number of different ways, such as:

  • taking hold of someone’s arm
  • handcuffs
  • police dogs
  • batons
  • irritant sprays
  • spit/bite guards
  • tasers
  • firearms (guns) in exceptional circumstances

What training we give

We give officers regular training around:

  • when and when not to use force
  • when to stop using force
  • the law behind doing so
  • how to talk to you

The training includes how to use:

  • personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • batons
  • irritant sprays

We also train them in unarmed defence tactics, and how to give first aid.

Firearms officers are also given special training on how to use weapons and other specific tactics.

Above all else, whether we’re training or having to do this in a real life situation, we always make sure our use of force is:

  • reasonable in the circumstances
  • proportionate
  • lawful

Our Vision and Values show that we’re committed to protecting you, and we’ll only use force if it’s absolutely necessary. All of us work to the Code of Ethics.

When we do use force, there’s lots of circumstances that go into deciding this. Our officers always review their actions, and will adjust their response according to the situation.

How can I see when you’ve used force?

If we do use force, a record is created to show that we’ve done this.

We create a report of how and when we've used force every three months. You can view it by visiting our Freedom of Information website.

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