Home > What we do > Use of force > April 2017 – June 2017

April 2017 - June 2017


Record-level data cannot be interpreted easily by the public so we have provided the following summary to help contextualise the use of force data.

In this period, 901 use of force records were submitted – these related to 607 separate incidents.

The comments on this page should assist in understanding some of the information, but no analysis of the data is provided.

There are a number of options on the form for some questions and in many cases there will be a nil return. Where there is a nil return on the data then the option is not shown on the summary tables.

Command Total
York and Selby 427
Scarborough and Ryedale 229
Harrogate and Craven 181
Hambleton and Richmond 56
Out of force 8
Total 901

There were a total of 901 records submitted for this period. This table breaks down in which police area within North Yorkshire the incident occurred, and is comparable with numbers of police officers and incidents in those areas.

Incident Location Total
Street/Highway 478
Custody block 188
Dwelling 181
Hospital/A&E (non mental health setting) 35
Open ground (e.g. park, car park, field) 34
Police vehicle with prisoner handling cage 30
Other 23
Retail premises 20
Licensed premises 20
Police station (excluding custody block) 8
Mental health setting 7
Police vehicle without prisoner handling cage 5
Ambulance 3
Public transport 1
Sports or event stadia (when used inside of the stadium) 1
Total 1034

This table identifies where the use of force incident occurred. In some cases the incident will have occurred in more than one location which accounts for the total number being higher than the total number of submitted forms. If the incident took place in multiple locations then those completing the record will select all that apply.

Gender of subject (officer perceived) Total
Male 679
Female 222
Total 901

This table refers to the gender of the subject as the officer perceives it to be.  There is an option of Transgender on the form but there were nil returns in that field for this period.

Is subject under 18 years old Total
No 753
Yes 148
Total 901

This table shows the breakdown between adult and under-18-year-olds. The total relates to the number of forms and not individuals subjected to force. As will be shown in the ‘Tactics used’ section, there are circumstances where no physical application of force was used such as where baton, irritant spray and Taser are drawn but not deployed.

Ethnicity of Subject Total
White 848
Black (or Black British) 26
Mixed 12
Asian (or Asian British) 9
Other 6
Total 901

This table refers to the ethnicity of the subject as the officer perceives it to be.  The total number relates to total number of records created and not the total number of subjects.  In some cases the same subject may have been involved in a use of force incident on more than one occasion.

Tactic Used Total
Tactical communications 527
Unarmed skills (including pressure points, strikes, restraints and takedowns) 408
Compliant handcuffing 282
Non-compliant handcuffing 279
Ground restraint 191
Limb/Body restraints 56
Other/improvised 39
Irritant spray – PAVA used 36
Irritant spray – PAVA drawn 17
Spit guard 17
Baton drawn 7
Baton used 3
Dog deployed 2
Shield 2
Dog biting 1
Firearms 1
Total 1923

This table shows the tactics that officers and staff have used during the incident. This is intended to help develop an understanding of how often tactics are used in isolation and how often multiple force tactics are used collectively. The data obtained allows police forces to identify the number of tactics used and in what order.

It is expected in many situations that officers will have used tactical (verbal) communications as a first option prior to any escalation in options.  Where tactical communications were successful and there was no other requirement for any further tactical options then a use of force record would not ordinarily be required.

When a record is completed by the officer they have the opportunity to select multiple options in order of use. The total is naturally higher than the 901 records because there will be more than one tactic used in many situations.

The national use of force record also includes compliant handcuffing. There remain valid operational reasons why subjects would be handcuffed even when they appear to be compliant – such as where a drugs search will take place or where there is intelligence to suggest handcuffing may be necessary and proportionate.

In relation to irritant spray,  North Yorkshire Police use PAVA spray. If the item is drawn with the immediate intention of deploying it, then the advice is to select ‘used’ on the record. If, however, the item is drawn as a deterrent and subsequently used then the record should indicate it was both ‘drawn’ (indicating it was an unsuccessful tactic) and also ‘used’. The same applies with Baton drawn and used. In North Yorkshire police officers are equipped with a straight expandable baton known as an ASP.

Use of Taser Total
Drawn 13
Aimed 5
Red-dotted 26
Fired 11
Total 55

This table breaks down the 55 reported uses of Taser in this period and categorises them based on the highest final outcome.  The options that were returned commence with a Taser simply being drawn and then escalating through to it being fired.  Not all officers are Taser trained. In this quarter officers were carrying Taser in 320 of the 901 records submitted.

Subject Injury Total
Minor 48
Total 48

This table shows how many records identified that the subject was injured as a result of the use of force. This does not include injuries that the subject had prior to the force. A minor injury is an injury reported that may require some simple first aid but does not meet the definition of severe. A severe injury is a fracture, deep cut, deep laceration or any injury causing damage to an internal organ or the impairment of any bodily function or, an injury which, after initial assessment at hospital, requires formal admission to hospital. There were nil returns on ‘severe’ for this period.

Were you assaulted by the subject Total
No 836
Yes 65
Total 901

Police officers and staff are asked to indicate on the record whether they were injured in any way during the use of force incident, even if they would consider it to be minor.  Accidental or coincidental injuries not related to the incident should not be considered. This question is aimed at capturing how often officers are injured as a result of incidents in which they have had to use force, the level of those injuries and will help assess the level of threat that officers face more generally.

Were you spat at Total
No 866
Yes 35
Total 901

Police officers and staff should only select ‘yes’ if they were personally spat at during the incident.


You can download use of force data in spreadsheet format.

Use of force April 2017 - June 2017[xlsx]