Police using force more often in North East
Police officers in the North East used force more often last year than they did before the pandemic, new figures show.
Home Office figures show the number of incidents in which Northumbria Police used force rose by 34% to 21,750 in the year to March – up from 16,239 in 2019-2020 – the year before the coronavirus pandemic.
Of the incidents last year, 854 resulted in the subject being injured.
In England and Wales, 608,000 use of force incidents were recorded in 2021-22, up from 492,000 in 2019-20.
Nationally, 79% of incidents involved restraining the subject – such and handcuffing or forcing them to the ground – with restraint tactics being used 25,739 times in Northumbria force area
Gavin Hales, a senior associate fellow at the Police Foundation think tank said last year involved “something of a return to normal crime levels” after a drop in crime over successive lockdowns and that the rise could in part be due to the recruitment of new officers, and improved recording of incidents.
Emmanuelle Andrews, policy and campaigns manager at civil rights campaign group Liberty, said: “We all want to feel safe in our communities, but dehumanising police tactics, especially those involving use of force, don’t keep us safe but instead subject people to traumatic and distressing experiences, leaving a lasting impact on both individuals and communities.”
A Home Office spokesperson said that sometimes force can be a "vital tool" in policing and that it is making it easier for officers to use body worn video – giving greater opportunity to scrutinise incidents.