Police officers are frequently required to deal with conflict situations. Many of these are resolved using well-chosen and appropriate words and by managing human interaction.
Others require varying degrees of physical force, including, on occasions, the use of firearms by authorised officers. This proportionate response is a well-established and necessary approach to managing conflict in a democratic society.
The Criminal Law Act 1967, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and common law apply to all uses of force by the police and require that any use of force should be ‘reasonable’ in the circumstances.
Reasonable in these circumstances means:
Absolutely necessary for a purpose permitted by law
The amount of force used must also be reasonable and proportionate (i.e. the degree of force used must be the minimum required in the circumstances to achieve the lawful objective), otherwise, it is likely that the use of force will be excessive and unlawful
Detailed information on the use of force by Nottinghamshire Police is available below.