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Attacks on Officers in custody (830A/20)

Request

Q1:The total number of police officers attacked by suspects on police premises over the past four years?

Q2:Of those attacks, how many were carried out using weapons – and what were the weapons?

Q3:And can I please get a breakdown of the figures for each year?

 

from October 2, 2016 to October 2, 2020.

Response

 

Q1:The total number of police officers attacked by suspects on police premises over the past four years? 2nd Oct 2016 to 30th September 2020:

1126 officers have been injured on police premises. Police premises can include Police buildings, vehicles, Police land and car park areas and custody suites.

Q2:Of those attacks, how many were carried out using weapons – and what were the weapons? 2nd Oct 2016 to 30th September 2020:

Year Weapon =

Other

Weapon =

Knife

Weapon =

Kitchen Knife

Weapon =

Razor blade

Weapon =

None

Total
2016         59 59
2017 2       228 230
2018 2     1 258 261
2019 1   1   288 290
2020   1     285 286
Total 5 1 1 1 1118 1126

 

 

As previously stated we do not centrally record the detail of injury information, however the information is sometimes recorded within the modus operandi of each recorded crime.

 

Also our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide the actual level of injury for injuries on “Police Premises”, within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

 

To view all 1126 recorded crimes to locate any such level of injury data on police premises would exceed the cost limit within the FOI Act.

 

Other information from a different data source was also located:

 

West Midlands Police also record officer injury from a different data source.  We have accessed this information as well to evaluate if any of these injuries were recorded as having been in custody / handcuffed prisoner.  In order to do this each modus operandi has been read and the following results apply.  Please be aware that this may not be all of the officer injury in custody, it depends how it has been recorded in the first instance.  There may potentially be more within the assaults on “Police Premises” section above, but due to cost we are unable to evaluate all those records.

 

For 2nd October 2016 – 31 Dec 2016:

 

There were 13 recorded injuries within custody centres, of which the following apply after having read each individual record.

 

Action:

 

Kicked = 6

Spat at = 3

Punched = 2

Items thrown at officers = 1

 

Handcuffed at time of injury = 1

 

Injury:

 

Injured Hand = 2

Bruise / pain or discomfort = 4

Grazes /cuts = 2

 

For 1st Jan 2017 to 31st Dec 2017:

 

 

There were 60 recorded injuries within custody centres, of which the following apply after having read each individual record.

 

Action:

 

Spat at = 16

Item thrown at officer = 3

Kicked = 17

Bitten = 9

Punched = 9

Head-butt = 3

Push = 2

Slap = 1

 

Injuries:

 

Bruise / pain or discomfort = 15

Cut or graze = 15

Injured wrist / hand = 4

Broken hand = 2

Broken nose = 1

Loss of consciousness = 1

Knee injury = 1

 

For 1st Jan 2018 to 31st Dec 2018:

 

 

There were 95 recorded injuries within custody centres, of which the following apply after having read each individual record.

 

Action:

 

Spit = 32

Punch = 11

Head-butt = 3

Kicked = 27

Bite = 6

Push = 5

Slap = 4

Grabbed around neck = 2

Item thrown at officer = 3

 

Handcuffed at time = 4

 

Injury:

 

Cut/graze = 16

Bruise / minor discomfort = 31

Injured wrist / hand = 6

Head injury = 1

Foot injury =1

Knee Injury = 2

Nek/back injury = 2

Fractured wrist = 1

 

For 1st Jan 2019 to 31st Dec 2019

 

There were 103 recorded injuries within custody centres, of which the following apply after having read each individual record.

 

Action:

 

Punched = 16

Kicked = 15

Spat at = 24

General struggle = 10

Slap = 1

Head-butt = 3

Thrown = 1

Bitten = 10

Item thrown at officer = 5

Pushed = 2

Sexual assault = 1

Head lock = 1

Grabbed around the throat = 1

 

Handcuffed at time = 2

 

Injury:

 

Bruise / minor discomfort = 33

Cuts / grazes = 13

Broken finger = 2

Back / neck injury = 3

Wrist / hand injury = 4

Knee injury = 2

Fractured leg = 1

Elbow / arm injury = 1

Head injury = 1

Fractured hand = 1

 

For 1st Jan 2020 to 2 Oct 2020

 

 

There were 89 recorded injuries within custody centres, of which the following apply after having read each individual record.

 

Action:

 

Hair Pulled = 1

Kicked = 18

Spat at = 21

General struggle = 8

Head-butt = 3

Punch = 11

Push = 2

Bitten = 5

Sexual assault = 1

Item thrown at officer = 5

 

Handcuffed at time = 3

 

Injury:

 

Knee injury = 4

Cuts / grazes = 7

Wrist / hand injury = 6

Bruises / minor discomfort = 32

Fractured thumb = 1

Back / neck injury = 1

Head = 1

 

In conclusion, we have provided two sets of data.  The injuries on police premises, will bring back weapons used but there is no actual injury data readily available. To retrieve this injury data would exceed cost limitations within FOI.

 

The data from officer injuries (from HR), can be narrowed down to “custody” and in the Modus Operandi provides the injury / incident.  These have been read individually and there is no mention of any weapons within the text. Weapons is not a recordable data criteria. Please note that items thrown at officers could be construed as a weapon, but in these cases they involve, the throwing of food, items of clothing, urine, blood or faeces at staff.

 

It would appear that the use of weapons was outside of custody areas. Therefore the level of injury from said weapons cannot be ascertained.

 

The cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244

 

As recommended as good practice by the Information Commissioner’s Office a version of this response may be published on the West Midlands Police website.

 

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