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Use of force

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police car livery

Each day West Mercia Police respond to thousands of incidents across the communities we serve as we fulfil our role of upholding the law and keeping the peace. The vast majority of these matters are resolved without requiring any form of conflict. However, on very rare occasions there is a necessity for our officers to use force to safely diffuse a situation in order to protect people from harm.

Use of force tactics include; an officer taking hold of someone's arm, using handcuffs, deploying a police dog and using a baton, irritant spray, Taser or firearm. You can find more information on this within our Use of Force Definitions page. The information extracted from the data (shown within Data & statistics) is used to help further develop officer training.

Our Vision and Values articulate that we are committed to protecting people from harm; this is underpinned by our code of ethics in being open and accountable for our actions. Therefore where use of force actions are taken a record is made and you can find figures relating to these incidents below.

In all of our interactions we have a duty to act professionally and only use force that is reasonable, justifiable and proportionate for the circumstances. These interactions must also be in accordance with the principles provided by the Code of Ethics:: accountability, fairness, honesty, integrity, leadership, objectivity, openness, respect and selflessness.

It is important to recognise that each use of force incident involves a unique set of circumstances, with the officer's decision making based on a suspect's actions. Throughout any incident our officers continuously reassess the circumstances and adjust their response as appropriate to the evolving situation.

As part of our work to continuously improve services to our communities, we are preparing new force policy and practice to compliment the principles laid out by the College of Policing - College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice - Police use of force and NPCC Use of Force - Personal Safety Manual. The new policy will enable our processes to be less bureaucratic and will have a governance structure that places emphasis on transparency and openness alongside scrutiny of our training, equipment and officer conduct. It will recognise good practice and aim to further increase public confidence in Warwickshire Police.