Dorset PCC Conducts Review of Use of Force by Dorset Police

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset has commissioned a review into the ‘Use of Force’ by Dorset Police.

As part of this review, an independent consultant was engaged in late January 2015 to examine the data collection, operational policy and current scrutiny available across all areas where police officers use force in Dorset. The terms of reference, which have been written and agreed with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary for England and Wales (HMIC), also includes the use of taser inside custody suites.

The review is currently underway and should report its findings late in March.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill said: “Since widespread publicity last December concerning taser use in custody suites and the ongoing national public debate concerning the use of force, I decided it was time to review the governance and scrutiny available when force is used by the police in Dorset. This is really important. In this country we police by consent and the public require reassurance that any force used by the police is appropriate and available to be scrutinised.”

“We will wait to see what the review tells us. I am particularly keen to establish how the use of force is recorded in Dorset, I discussed this last week with the Home Secretary. I am told that only 50% of Forces appear to record this properly in all areas. I know the Home Secretary is working at a national level to establish clear guidelines in this area and I think a preliminary review here in Dorset may inform that work.”

As the PCC lead for Mental Health and Policing, Dorset PCC Mr Underhill is currently working with a number of agencies in relation to the use of force in relation to vulnerable people, including ACPO, the College of Policing, the Home Office, HMIC, the IPCC and the Independent Custody Visitors Association.

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