Analysis of national police use of force data

Research Institution / Organisation

College of Policing

Principal Researcher

Dr. Abi Dymond

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

July 2018

Research Context

From 1 April 2017, all police forces across England and Wales are expected to record a broad range of use of force data. Analysis of this wealth of data allows a valuable opportunity to influence changes to national guidance and training.

This project involves researchers from the University of Exeter, College of Policing and University College London undertaking detailed analysis of use of force data.

The proposed research has two broad aims. First, the research will provide a basic exploratory overview of the national data. This will include, for example, the frequency with which force in general and specific force options were used, how effective their use was perceived to be, and the proportion of incidents that resulted in injury.

Second, the research will go beyond a descriptive summary of the data to address key gaps in the evidence base. The analysis will seek to explore the following questions, due to their potential to highlight ways of reducing risks to the police and the public:

  • What factors were associated with officers being injured? 
  • What factors were associated with members of the public being hospitalised?
  • What factors were associated with officers using force? 
  • What factors were associated with incidents escalating or being resolved?
  • How did the recency of personal safety training influence officers’ use of force?
  • What factors were associated with differences in the rate at which officers and forces used force?

Research Methodology

​Detailed use of force data has been requested from all forces in England and Wales. It is recognised that not all forces will be in a position to provide this data, for resource and technical reasons.

Researchers will use advanced statistical techniques to analyse the data received to address the research questions detailed above.

Interim reports and publications

​Not available

Date due for completion

January 2020
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