Independent Scrutiny Panel Find 'No Issues' While Reviewing Beds Police Videos

  • An independent panel set up to scrutinise the Bedfordshire Police use of force has given officers the green light in its latest series of reviews.
Bedfordshire's independent use of force scrutiny panel reviewed four videos which the panel randomly selected of officers using force to detain suspects.

The independent panel rated each of the four videos ‘green’ at Thursday’s meeting, the highest available mark on the ‘traffic light’ system used to grade the footage.

This was the second-ever meeting of the panel, which was launched earlier this year. It is a sub-group of the county’s successful Stop and Search scrutiny panel.

Chief Inspector Hob Hoque, our lead for use of force, said: “Being open and transparent about how our officers use their powers is vitally important for our communities to have trust in us as an organisation.

“It is of course great news that the panel was happy with how our officers used force on these occasions. We have still identified some great feedback from the panel, which we will be taking back to the officers involved as well as the wider organisation to help us improve how we do things.

“We are doing our utmost as an organisation to be as open and transparent as possible around such matters, which are so important to our communities.”

The scrutiny panel meets four times a year to review footage from police bodycam as well as CCTV.

The panel selects videos of officers using force at various locations and at least one of the videos reviewed at each panel will be when force is used while someone is in custody.

The panel also gets access to police data around the use of force, such as the reasons force was used and the rate at which force is used on people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Panel chairman Montell Neufville said, “The first thing we look at when examining the data is patterns, to satisfy ourselves that individual officers are not using force excessively on a routine basis and we check that force is proportionate to the risk that the situation presents itself.

“It is clear that on occasions it is necessary to use force to protect people, property and officers themselves, and most do this in line with operational practices. The panel's role is to provide that reassurance to local people that tactics are being used fairly and that force is the last resort to achieve the outcome.

“From the latest dip-sampling, there were no issues and no learning required for officers.”

Find out more about the work of the stop and search scrutiny panel.