Children restrained in MPS custody

MQT on 2017-07-13
Session date: 
July 13, 2017
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How many children have been restrained whilst in MPS custody in the last year? Please give a breakdown by year and by borough.


Answer for Children restrained in MPS custody

Answer for Children restrained in MPS custody

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Nationally, the police service uses a broad definition of the use of force, which incorporates the use of restraint and control. This can include the use of handcuffs, unarmed skills and irritant spray for example.  

The table attached in Appendix 1 therefore provides a detailed breakdown by custody suite of the use of force on children (defined as aged 18 years and under) in MPS custody in the financial year 2016/17.  This includes any application during a detainee's time in the custody of a police officer, which may involve the continuation of a use of force from the time of arrest to entering the custody suite.  E.g. when handcuffed.   

It is absolutely essential that all detainees be treated with dignity and respect; regardless of their age or background.  The overriding objective for any officer interaction with a member of the public must be to avoid using force (the use of restraint by the police is classified as a use of 'force') and to aim to de-escalate any situations that may lead to its use.  Where force is used, it must be proportionate, lawful and necessary in the circumstances.  Officers will be accountable for all instances where force is used.

Please note the following:

       Statistics for young persons arrested who were handcuffed prior to arriving in custody are included since invariably the handcuffs would only be removed once they were inside a custody suite, therefore technically they would be restrained 'in custody.'

       The number of different types of use of force that have been used may exceed the number of individuals. i.e. more than one use of force may have been applied to an individual.