Scrutiny is an integral part of ensuring that Lincolnshire Police maintains policing standards and delivers fair and equitable policing services responsive to its communities. External scrutiny seeks to increase public understanding, legitimacy, confidence, and trust in policing. Allowing members of the public to review practices and hold the Chief Constable and officers to account through an appropriate mechanism, which requires the explanation of the use of policing powers, tactics, and procedures. Learning from scrutiny contributes to and informs service improvements and training.
Use of Force is an important part of legislation and Police power that prevents criminal activity, danger and to effect a lawful arrest. Despite the reasons for its use, we must use only reasonhable force and ensure that its use is fair and effective.
As part of the Public Scrutiny Panel, your role will be to review a sample of recent Police encounters where Use of Force is a factor and provide individual feedback. A Police facilitator will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
You will be asked consider:
If the use of force is justified, lawful and stands up to public scrutiny.
If the officer has used reasonable force in line with legislation
If the use of force was necessary and proportionate
Legal power definitions
Section 117 PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) 1984
Where any provision of this act confers a power on a constable and does not provide that the power may only be exercised with the consent of the person, other than a police officer, the officer may use reasonable force, if necessary, in the exercise of the power.
Section 3 Criminal Law Act
Any person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of a crime or in effecting the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.
If you have an honestly held belief that you or another are in imminent danger, you may use force as is reasonable and lawful to avert that danger.
Officers have a number of methods at their disposal which count as a use of force and will assess the most suitable and reasonable means based on the circumstances. They are responsible and accountable for their actions.
Use of Force includes:
Compliant and Non-Compliant Handcuffing
Irritant spray – PAVA – used or drawn
Baton – drawn or used
AEP (Attenuating Energy Projectile (Baton gun) drawn, aimed or fired
Firearms drawn, aimed or fired
After watching the encounter and hearing the Use of Force grounds provided by the officer, you will be provided with a link to complete individual feedback and to assess the encounter using a five-point grading below:
Excellent - Faultless.
Very good - No significant issues established by the panel; learning may be identified but what has been identified are minor points of feedback to the officer.
Good - Some wider areas of learning established however the panel feel this can be addressed through communication to the officer and their supervisor directly, despite this the panel remain happy that the use of force was lawful, proportionate and nothing has taken place to suggest discrimination by the officer concerned.
Requires improvement - Areas identified that require improvement that may need more than simple advice or reflection – please provide detail on the feedback form.
Unacceptable - Falls short of professional standards of behaviour or any evidence of discriminatory behaviour. Police facilitators to take further action post scrutiny panel.
You may refer to this guidance during the Panel and when completing the feedback from, but please feel free to ask questions to the facilitators at any point.
If at any time you recognise an individual you must make this known to the panel by raising your hand or writing in the chat. You will be reminded of this prior to each encounter reviewed.
You may only take part in the panel on completion of a Confidentiality Agreement and the panel will be monitored throughout.
Any individual not adhering to the confidentiality agreement or displaying any discriminatory behaviour will be immediately removed from the panel.
Given the nature of work Police Officers undertake you may be exposed to scenes of a distressing nature, such as violence, swearing or situations that may be upsetting to some. You can withdraw yourself at any time.
If you require any supportive adjustments to take part in the panel, please make these known to [email protected]