Prisons pilot digital tool to collect ‘use of force’ data

Written by Sam Trendall on 23 March 2020 in News

MoJ minister reveals program will gather info on use of rigid handcuffs and other tools

Credit: PA

Prisons are piloting the use of a digital tool to gather and create a central pool of data on use of force by officers – information which is currently not available at a national level.

According to prisons minister Lucy Frazer, data on the use of “rigid bar handcuffs” and other physical restraints and interventions is only recorded locally.

When asked in a written parliamentary question from Labour MP Mary Glindon to provide data on the use of the handcuffs across the prison estate over the last 12 months, Frazer said that the government does “not currently hold this information centrally”.

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But a new platform is being tested that would allow for this information to be collected and analysed on a national basis. The system would also allow for the collection of information on the use of other occasions when force is used.

“However, we are piloting the use of a digital tool for establishments to record this and other ‘use of force’ data, which will improve our ability to interrogate and extract any relevant data, such as this,” she said. “Rigid bar handcuffs are only one of the tools we are giving prison officers to help them do their job more safely. This also includes body-worn cameras and PAVA spray.”


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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