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Firearms drawn by officers (557A/20)

Request

Please could you provide me details of the number of times a firearm has been drawn by a police officer. Of those occasions, which type of firearm was drawn, and how many times a firearm was discharged by a police officer?

Please provide this information for the following years:

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 

Response

Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see enclosed). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.

How many times a firearm was discharged by a police officer?

Year by year breakdown: (financial year)

2015/16 – Zero discharges

2016/17 – Zero discharges

2017/18 – 1 discharge, non-fatal injuries sustained

2018/19 – 3 discharges; 2 fatal injuries sustained; 1 non-fatal injury sustained

2019/20 – Zero discharges

The number of times a firearm has been drawn by a police officer. Of those occasions, which type of firearm was drawn?

West Midlands Firearms Officers have been deployed thousands of times 2015 through to 2020 to Firearms incidents. This data is reported to the Home Office each year.

However, within each deployment there are different tactics used depending on the incident. Each deployment is different and the tactics are bespoke.  Each deployment would need to individually reviewed in order to retrieve the information to identify whether or not a firearm was drawn, and then the subsequent weapon involved.

Please see below the number of deployments:

The breakdown of deployments for each year is as follows: (financial year)

  • 2015/16 – 1942 deployments
  • 2016/17 – 2103 deployments
  • 2017/18 – 2721 deployments
  • 2018/19 – 3367 deployments
  • 2019/20 – 2562 deployments

Clearly to review every record and watch the body worn video for each to see if a weapon was drawn and the type of weapon will exceed the 18 hour cost element within the Freedom of Information Act.

West Midlands Police can say is that our Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) patrol each day with Self Loading Pistol (SLP) and Carbine.  Depending on the tactic they employ on each deployment the officers will deploy either the SLP only, or both weapons.

 

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