Scrutiny of North Yorkshire Police use of force ‘not good enough’, say inspectors
Sep 30, 2022
North Yorkshire Police

Scrutiny of North Yorkshire Police’s use of force in custody is “not good enough”, say inspectors.

An inspection report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found that scrutiny and quality assurance could not show that force used was “necessary, justified and proportionate”.

Inspectors also found that recording in custody records was “often poor” and important information, including reasons for decisions such as the removal of clothing, is “sometimes missing”.

They added that a review of CCTV found that incidents “weren’t always managed well, and techniques weren’t always used correctly”.

In a report published today, inspectors said:

“The force’s governance and oversight of the use of force in custody isn’t good enough.

“Although there is some scrutiny and quality assurance of incidents, the information that supports this scrutiny is inaccurate.

“This means North Yorkshire Police can’t show that when force is used in custody it is necessary, justified and proportionate.”

However, the report did find that officers interacted respectfully with detainees and were “patient and reassuring”.

It also found that the standard of care offered by custody staff to detainees was “very good”.

The inspection was carried out into the force’s custody suites during June and July this year. There are custody suites in York, Harrogate and Scarborough

In the report, inspectors raised two causes for concern which included scrutiny of use of force and managing detainee risk.

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Recommendations were made to improve scrutiny of use of force and to mitigate the risk of detainees in custody.

Police response

elliot foskett

In response to the report, Elliot Foskett, North Yorkshire’s assistant chief constable (pictured above), said:

“We welcome the HMICFRS report, as it helps us to further understand how we can continue to improve our custody provision here in North Yorkshire Police.

“Working within the legislative framework, our absolute priority is the safety and welfare of detainees, avoiding any adverse level of risk.

“It is acknowledged that some processes, such as the recording of information, are not of the highest possible standard and this is something we have already started to look at.

“We are pleased the HMICFRS has recognised we have good measures in place to oversee the safe and respectful provision of custody.

“It’s also good to see the acknowledgement of the good work of our custody staff in relation to how they deal with detainees respectfully, patiently, and reassuringly, recognising the array of diverse needs.”