The first of a new quarterly report detailing the tactics and force used by Met Police officers responding to incidents has been published by Scotland Yard.
Available on the force’s website, the data spans all forms of police interaction with suspects and detainees, including taking hold of their arm, handcuffing them, deploying a police dog, using a baton, CS spray, Taser or firearm.
The data is compiled by asking officers to complete an online form once they’ve dealt with an incident and is being published in support of a Home Office initiative to boost police accountability and transparency and ensure officers receive the correct training.
Today’s release covers April – June of this year, during which 12,605 “incidents of force” by individual officers were recorded. Incidents are broken down by the type of force or restraint, as well as by the demographics of those they were used against.
The most commonly used tactic was handcuffing “a compliant person” which was done 5,397 times. Spitguards, which are being trailed in a small number of custody suites, were used 25 times during the three month period.
Of the 12,605 incidents captured by the report, 10,925 were against men, 1,643 against women and 37 against people identifying as transgender.
The majority of incidents (6,404) were against men aged between 18 and 34 years and 45% of people were white, 36% per cent black and 10% per cent Asian.
The figures also revealed that almost 14% of subjects were believed to have mental health issues.
Senior officers have previously warned that responding to incidents involving people with mental health concerns is a major drain on the Met’s resources, with the force often called when other agencies are unable to respond.
The data also reveals that officers were injured on 643 occasions during the quarter.
Commander Matt Twist said: “Our officers face the most dangerous situations every day. It is important we give them the right training and equipment to do the job.
“Use of force techniques are there to stop violence and danger, protecting not only the officer making an arrest but also the public at the scene, and the person being arrested.
“The collation of data in this way is a positive step for the Met.
“It gives senior officers an enhanced ability to scrutinise the decisions officers take daily, and help influence the way we train officers in use of force tactics, and to ensure we are giving them the right equipment.
“It will also ensure transparency to the public who will get a better idea of what officers face on a day-to-day basis.