Use of Force
Each day Sussex Police respond to thousands of incidents across the communities we serve as we fulfil our role of upholding the law and keeping the peace.
The vast majority of these matters are resolved without requiring any form of conflict. However, on very rare occasions there is a necessity for our officers to use force to safely diffuse a situation in order to protect people and themselves from harm.
Use of force tactics include; an officer taking hold of someone's arm, using handcuffs, deploying a police dog and using a baton, irritant spray, Taser or firearm.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, Sussex Police recorded the number of incidents where use of force tactics were deployed as 7217. This equates to around 1% of all the calls received by Sussex Police during that annual period.
In all of our interactions we have a duty to act professionally and only use force that is reasonable, justifiable and proportionate for the circumstances. These interactions must also be in accordance with the principles provided by the Code of Ethics: accountability, fairness, honesty, integrity, leadership, objectivity, openness, respect and selflessness.
It is important to recognise that each use of force incident involves a unique set of circumstances, with the officer's decision making based on a suspect's actions. Throughout any incident our officers continuously reassess the circumstances and adjust their response as appropriate to the evolving situation.