Where do we get the authority to use force? Prison Rule 47, YOI Rule 50. PSO 1600 Law European convention on Human Rights.
Prison Rule 47 – Y.O.I. Rule 50 An officer when dealing with a prisoner shall not use force unnecessarily and, when the use of force is necessary, no more force than is necessary shall be used.
Prison Service Order 1600 All reasonable efforts must be made to manage violent, refractory or disturbed behaviour by persuasion or other means that do not entail the use of force. The use of force must always be regarded as a last resort.
Criminal Law act 1967 (Section Three (1)) Any person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of a crime, or in the effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders unlawfully at large.
Common Law The common law has always recognised a persons right to defend themselves or others. If they have to inflict violence on another in doing so such action is not unlawful as long as their actions are reasonable in the circumstances as he sees them. Lord Griffiths (Beckford v Queen 1998)
Human Rights Act 1998 Article twothe right to life. Article threeprohibition from torture, inhumane or degrading treatment. Article eightthe right to respect for private and family life.
Accountability Staff are accountable for their own actions.They must demonstrate that their actions comply with the following general principles.
General Principles. Force can be justified if it is; Reasonable in the circumstances. Necessary. No more force than is necessary. Proportionate to the seriousness of the circumstances.
Reasonable in the Circumstances A matter of fact decided in each individual case. Each set of circumstances are unique. Unique factors should be taken into consideration when deciding what is reasonable.
Necessary The action taken must have been necessary. The type of harm that is being prevented must be taken into account. Self defence or enforcing lawful orders. Consequences of non compliance must be considered.
No more force than is necessary. Using more force than is required to achieve compliance is unlawful.
Proportionate In The Circumstances A reasonable relationship between the means employed and the aim pursued must be demonstrated.
Staff must be aware that when required to deal with a conflict as part of their operational duties there is an expectation (general public and courts) that they are better equipped / trained to deal with the confrontation without resorting to the use of force. The use of force is always a last resort.
In any conflict situation we will adopt one or more of the following strategies. Avoid. (withdraw or stay away form the danger) Defuse. (use communication skills to solve the conflict) Control. (control the situation using assertiveness, presence or reasonable force)
Defusion Strategy How can we defuse an aggressive situation? Appear confident, give the impression you are capable of dealing with the situation Appear calm Create space Speak slowly / softly Don’t stare, keep averting your gaze Ask questions Don’t argue Listen and demonstrate that you are listening
What will dictate which strategy we will choose ? The type of behaviour demonstrated by the prisoner will be the major factor that influences our decision as to how to deal with a potential/actual problem.