Use of Force

Gwent Police respond to hundreds of incidents every day across the communities we serve as we seek to deliver our priorities of crime prevention and supporting the victims throughout these communities.

The majority of incidents are resolved without requiring any use of force; however there are occasions where an officer needs to use force to protect the public or themselves. Police officers are confronted with difficult situations every day. They walk towards danger when others walk away, thinking and acting quickly to keep people safe as best they can.

Officers are authorised and trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when necessary. Publishing this data will allow for improved public trust and confidence and greater transparency into why and how force is used. In the future, this data will allow us to compare the effectiveness of different techniques, providing evidence-based decisions about training, tactics and equipment.  

A use of force form must be completed by the individual officer when the following use of force occurs (includes within custody). This could result in a number of forms being submitted relating to a single incident:

  • Handcuffing (compliant and non-compliant)
  • Unarmed skills (including pressure points, strikes, restraints and take downs)
  • Use of dogs
  • Drawing or use of baton
  • Drawing or use of irritant spray
  • Limb / body restraints
  • Spit guard
  • Shield
  • Taser
  • Drawing or use of AEP
  • Firearms
  • Any other actions which are deemed forceful

In the chart below, the “Type of Force Used” relates to the primary tactic used by each officer.

This is the first time this data is being collected and published by police forces, and due to the complexities of determining what exactly counts as a use of force, the National Police Chiefs Council has cautioned that comparisons between forces may be unreliable and misleading. The recording of this data represents a significant change for Gwent Police and it is expected that the number of incidents where force is used will be far greater than the initial figures. We are striving to improve the quality and consistency of our use of force data during the first phase of this national project.