Cambridgeshire police used guns six times in arrests in three month period as ‘use of force’ statistics are released
Cambridgeshire police used guns as part of an arrest six times over a three month period earlier this year, police statistics have revealed.
As part of a national push for openness and transparency in the police, details of every occasion officers have had to use force have been recorded and are being published.
And in Cambridgeshire, those statistics revealed that a conventional firearm was either aimed or discharged six times from April to June, a TASER was used 35 times and police dogs were used five times.
The most popular – and effective – use of force was handcuffs, which were used 744 times and were 95 per cent effective.
Of the 1,234 recorded uses of force, 81 took place in Fenland, while 91 were recorded in East Cambridgeshire. In Peterborough, however, there were 480 instances – 39 per cent of the total.
The report also shows that officers using force were more likely to be injured than the subjects, with 85 injured as opposed to 78 injuries to those being arrested.
The ages, genders and ethnicities of subjects were also revealed - 76 per cent were men, and 90 per cent – or 982 – were white.
The majority of subjects (54 per cent) were aged 18 to 34, but five were aged 10 or under. In one example, officers suffered minor injuries when detaining two boys under 10 on May 10.
Officers across the force have been formally recording use of force incidents since October – filling in forms for each incident if they were present. This means a single use of force may be recorded several times if more than one officer was on the scene at the time.
Use of force has been described as ranging from applying handcuffs to a compliant person being arrested, to the higher end where the officer uses force to enforce an arrest, or a firearm is aimed or discharged.
Chairman of Cambridgeshire Police Federation, Liz Groom, said: “Police officers across our three forces deal with difficult and challenging incidents and it is sometimes necessary for officers to use force to protect individuals, officers and the public.
“Officers are required to record every use of force used, and it is important that this data is accurately recorded to show transparency. The data also helps to show the type of incident, and often dangerous and volatile situations officers are faced with while keeping the public safe.”