The Concept of The Importance Of Police Use of Force

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The following essay, will discuss the importance of why the use of force is proportionate, the author has explained and provided information with evidence about the use of force in the Police system and why is it proportionate within the Police force. Understanding the knowledge of important statues relating to Police produces and how the evidence would relate to the assignment. Also, to have an understanding about the knowledge of the law and how it can be practised on the police procedures and the evidence. 

According to Buker , the term “Police use of force” is the rights of an individual to settle conflicts to prevent certain actions by applying measures to dissuade another party from a certain action. The Police Force are given the authority to use force and to able to use legal force in certain situations. Both directions and the use of force are professional judgements which are made by Police Officers when they are in a hostile situation. The Police Use of Force is an obliged subject of many discussions which can sometimes lead to social conflict. Some citizens within the community may want the police to protect them against criminals and violence by using force. Somehow, the fear of the use of force and the abuse of the authority which are made by the Police can challenge the freedom and the basic human civil rights.

According to, Police Officers may always justify their use of force it should be necessary and proportionate according to the situation. Police Officers can use lethal force as the last resort which means to eliminate the threats. However, this does not mean shoot to kill, it is aimed to stop threat to life . However, according to the shoot to kill policy should be used when an individual or a group of individual’s who poses an imminent threat to the lives of others for example a terrorist. 

When shooting, Police Officers should make sure they should aim in a place where the criminal will not lose their life. Police officers should use proportionate force when defending themselves or when making an arrest. When there is no propionate forced used this could lead to fatal injuries or even death. For example, the term “prone restraint”, involves Police officers forcing a suspect faced down on the ground while the individuals hands are cuffed behind their back and pressure is used on their torso as well as shoulders and neck.

One of the famous terms which is used within the Police Force is “Policing by Consent” this term can sometimes be confused due to Police Officers operating the citizens within a community Policing by Consent is the relationship with the Police and the community within an agreement ) .Policing by Consent is known as the Robert Peel’s 9 Principles of Policing. According to (REF)…. one of Peel’s principle explains that for an Officer to use physical force it should only be used when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary. On any particular occasion for achieving a police objective (policing by consent,2020).

There are many interpretations to why the Police Use of Force is proportionate. One could be that, Police Officers using excessive amount of force can cause serious harm . A duty Police Officer may use a chemical spray or a taser if they feel the need to when using these item’s inappropriately it can lead to excessive force. Therefore, the amount of force that a Police Officer can use depends on themselves and the consequences which follow. 

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Use of force may involve in a Police Officers everyday life, every situation is different hardly any are the same. Situations may vary such as the times and place which the crimes are being committed. Some individuals may believe that the Police Force should have no powers to use force no matter what the situation may be. They also believe that, certain situations can be dealt with in a calm manner and that the use of Force should not be used .

When witnessing certain situations, Police Officers should have different options from which they can chose from for example, using force or not . Some believe that Police Officers should be given the authority to use both mental and physical force to tackle certain situations. However, some criminals follow instructions and others do not. An appropriate use of force should be complied when an suspect is not following instructions those criminals who do not follow simple instructions, should firstly be given a verbal warning if they still do not co-operate Police Officers should detain the criminal if necessary, also to use legal physical force. 

On the other hand, if the criminal is putting a life in danger it is therefore then to use appropriate deadly force. In the United Kingdom, Police Officers can use reasonable force while making an arrest and to prevent crimes from happening or in a case of self- defence. Fatal force should be justified during the circumstance which was not more than necessary.

According to Alpert and Smith (1994), one of the major causes of force which leads to police brutality can be the belief that Police Officers are dealing with crime. When dealing with certain suspects there is a restriction on how much force the Police can apply. When Police Officers are given a decision based on the situation, some believe that it is up the Police Officer to make the right choice.Officers should make sure their actions should fit the circumstances.

On the other hand, there are many ways Police Officers can reduce the use of force. Police Officers should follow the same rules which are set out to them Officers should use their force lawfully and not take it to an extreme level only when it is necessary.. A Continuum Scale is one of the most efficient sources which is used to make sure that the appropriate amount of force is proportionate. Force continuum provides the law enforcement as well as security guards with the appropriate guideline of how many force they should use.. The scale involves five stages of force continuum such as the presence of a law enforcement officer, verbal response, empty hand techniques, non-deadly weapon and lethal force. This was designed as a general guide to use appropriate force in an arresting situation and to make sure that Police Officers use the appropriate force when necessary. This scale allows Officers applying the law policy in the use of force situations such as presenting statements in court.

Article 2, of the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to life “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law” . This suggests that the law should be able to protect its citizens. An individual’s life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention, when it results from the use of force, which is no more than absolutely necessary. A case study of Osman V UK was a case about a teacher who was attached to his student. The facts of this case are that the authority failed to protect the life of its citizens Ali and Ahmet Osman Both father and son were shot and killed by a teacher. Although, the case was reported several of times to the Police, they failed to take further action.

The Police knew that the teacher was a danger, but nothing was done therefore, two innocent lives where taken away. Section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967, allows Police Officers to use Force reasonably and to prevent crime. Also, Section 117 and the Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), allows reasonable powers under the PACE Act. This can only be used if the use of force is necessary to tackle the situation no matter how much force is used, it should be proportionate.

There are different Acts and Code of Ethic’s within the police one of the main Codes that Police Officers follow is Code G. This code of practise deals with the powers of the Police to arrest the individual which is involved within a criminal act  The Equality Act 2010, suggests that it is unlawful for the Officers to discriminate against a individuals gender, race, beliefs, colour, age and disability . The use of this power should be justified. However, Code G also explains that the use of force should be played as soon as the suspect starts to threaten those around them as well as the Police Officer’s and when violence is attempted. This could vary from physical harm to causing loss or damage to a property. The propionate use of force should be applied when the individual’s behaviour has provoked others this should lead to the arrest for the suspects own protection.

Overall, it is particularly important for the Police to use force proportionately. If force is used in a situation where it is not necessary, it could lead to serious harm or sometimes death. Police Officers should use force when it is essential for example, when a life is in danger or weather more harm is caused.

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