Force Releases Use of Force Statistics

Thursday, 13th December, 2018

West Yorkshire Police has published statistics to show how many times force has been used by officers during their duties.

This is the first time that all police forces across the UK have released the 12 months data.

During the 12 month period of 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018 there was a total of 16,165 incidents of force being used. In some instances more than one type of force was used in order for the incident to be resolved.

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Kingsman of West Yorkshire Police said:

"Keeping people safe across West Yorkshire sometimes means police officers intervene in dangerous or complex situations.

"On some occasions police officers have to use force to protect the public and protect themselves from harm. Force can mean for example, a form of restraint, handcuffing or use of PAVA spray.

"Our officers are trained to use the minimum level of force required to resolve an incident quickly and efficiently. Our officers are accountable for ensuring that use of force is lawful and is applied only when absolutely necessary.

"We deal with thousands of calls for service at West Yorkshire Police every day – it is inevitable given the nature of the job that we do to keep our communities safe that some of those calls will require the use of force.

"It is pleasing to note that the vast majority of instances never require force to be used and tactical communication and compliant handcuffing are usually enough.

"Rarely did officers have to use additional tactics or resources. Often, the visible presence of such a tactic was sufficient and not used.

"Of those injured when force by police has been used, over 99% only suffered minor injuries.

"Police officers put themselves in harm’s way 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. This data set also shows that during the same time staff were physically injured 856 times."

Click here to see the full Use of Force statistics (PDF)

An overview is as follows :

Tactical Communication (This is where an officer's presence at a location with verbal communication is used to attempt to resolve the incident) was the most reported tactic with 10,393 instances.

Handcuffing of a compliant person was the 2nd most reported tactic with 7,992 instances.

C.E.D (Conducted Energy Device - commonly known as Taser) – was used on 446 occasions but it should be noted that it was only used in a firing capacity on 64 occasions. On the other occasions it was used in a drawn, aimed or red dot mode.

Spit and bite guards were used on 132 occasions.

The full breakdown of the different tactics used is as follows :

Tactical communication


Compliant handcuffing   


Non-compliant handcuffing 


Unarmed Skills


Ground restraint


Dog deployed  


Dog bite 


Baton drawn


Baton used


Irritant spray (CS drawn)


Irritant spray (CS used) 


Irritant spray (PAVA drawn)  


Irritant spray (PAVA used)


Limb / body restraint


Spit guard




Conducted Energy Device – commonly referred to as a Taser


Firearms aimed at suspects


AEP aimed at suspects
Attenuated Energy Projectile
(Commonly referred to as a Baton round)


AEP fired


Other / improvised



Click here to see the full Use of Force statistics (PDF)

News type