Bedfordshire Police opens up Use of Force for public scrutiny Image By Brian Jackson AdobeStock_75638936

Independent members of the public to hold Beds Police to account on its use of force

Bedfordshire Police has launched a new Use of Force Scrutiny Panel. This is to help the force improve its use of and approach to policing in the event of arrest, or in any number of scenarios. Including when utilising stop and search powers.

‘Use of force’ is defined in police terms as everything from using handcuffs and unarmed detention skills, to the use of police dogs, batons, Taser and firearms.

Latest use of force statistics show that Beds Police submitted 1,045 records of use of force between October and December 2019.

Chief Inspector Ian Taylor, Bedfordshire Police’s lead for use of force, said:

“Having trust and confidence in the police is absolutely vital to our communities. By being open and transparent with them on issues such as the use of force, and showing that we are accountable for our actions, we are helping to build that trust.

“That’s why it’s important that our use of force is recorded accurately, shared publicly and open to the scrutiny of this new panel.

“We currently have a number of methods of reviewing and scrutinising our use of force data, but we are grateful to these independent volunteers for giving their time to learn more about how we use a range of policing tactics and to ensure we are continuously seeking opportunities to improve.”

Members of the new panel have been drawn from volunteers within the community and those who also sit on the force’s Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel. Members come from a mix of careers, backgrounds, ages and gender.

The panel have already begun to receive training around officer safety training tactics and Taser, before starting a trial period in February.

You can read more about use of force and view the latest force statistics on the Bedfordshire Police website.