The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published a research study into the use of force by the police. The study brings together evidence from complaints and investigations over a five-year period from 2009 to 2014, as well as examining public perception. The report details the disproportionate use of force against children.
Researchers looked at 200 IPCC investigations into the most serious incidents of use of force and concerns were raised in a third of cases. A total of 27 people (14%) in the sample were aged 17 years or under.
Findings of the report included:
- Children were significantly less likely to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs than those who were older;
- Contact was significantly more likely to result from a crime in progress for children (44%) than for adults (21%);
- Police were less likely to use Taser on children than adults;
- Police were more likely to physically strike a child than those older, and it was more likely for there to be a subsequent complaint about the use of handcuffs;
- Children were significantly more likely to receive no injuries (30%, eight), but if they did, it was more likely to be serious in nature (44%, 12), than the older sample (14% and 35% respectively). No children in the sample died as a result of their contact with the police;
- The force used against seven children (26%) was deemed excessive or inappropriate. This was a similar proportion for adults (31%).
The full report can be found here.