PAVA/CS Spray (1133A/20)
(1) Do you have a written policy, practice, order, direction or other document which sets out your policy on the use of CS incapacitant gas/spray and/or PAVA incapacitant gas/spray by your service members and/or staff? If the answer is in the affirmative, please provide copies of the current policy version, as well as copies of any version which has been in force at any time from 1 January 2018 to 28 November 2020.
(2) Do you provide or arrange training (of any form, and delivered by any means) for your service members and/or staff, on the use of CS incapacitant gas/spray and/or PAVA incapacitant gas/spray? If the answer is in the affirmative, please provide copies of the current version of the training syllabus/particulars etc. which is delivered as of 28 November 2020. Please note, I am not seeking disclosure of specific training materials or course content, but rather a relatively concise precis of the subject matter/content of the training.
(3) Do you provide or arrange training (of any form, and delivered by any means) for your service members and/or staff, on first aid etc. to be given following the use of CS incapacitant gas/spray and/or PAVA incapacitant gas/spray in the event that the subject or any other person suffers an adverse reaction to the administration of the noxious substance (such as an allergic reaction, or the loss of or reduction in vision or visual acuity which does not correct promptly and without intervention, or difficulty with breathing, or anaphylaxis, or any other similar adverse reaction)? If the answer is in the affirmative, please provide copies of the current version of the training syllabus/particulars etc. which is delivered as of 28 November 2020, as well as complete copies of all course materials which are deployed/used before, during or after the training.
(4) Do you keep records of incidents involving the deployment of CS incapacitant gas/spray and/or PAVA incapacitant gas/spray where the subject or any other person has suffered an adverse reaction which has required the administration of any first aid etc. referenced in your answer to (3) and/or attention from a registered healthcare practitioner, such as a paramedic, doctor, or nurse? If the answer is in the affirmative, please provide full particulars of the record media/content which would be completed and retained in such circumstances, as well as copies of any document templates etc. which are in use. Please note, I am not seeking information concerning any particular or specific “real” incident which might have transpired, but rather information concerning the information/datasets which you *would* collect following a relevant incident, as well as copies of the forms/paperwork templates, which would be used to gather/record that information/dataset.
Please find our response below.
With regard to questions 1-3;
WMP adhere to the guidelines outlined within the National Police Chiefs’ Council Personal Safety Manual. A redacted version of this (all modules) has already been released into the public domain by the College of Policing and under section 21 of the Act, we are not required to provide information in response to a request if it is already reasonably accessible to you. This information can be accessed via the link below.
However, we are withholding the redacted information by virtue of the following exemption:
Section 31(1)(a) – Law enforcement
In line with Section 31 above, I am required to complete a Prejudice Test/Public Interest Test (PIT) on disclosure. Please find this PIT attached (1133A_PIT).
With regard to question 4;
We record incidents involving injuries (and near misses) and we would have a record of when officers have been affected by PAVA / CS during an incident if they enter it onto the system. However, there may be other injuries sustained to an officer at the same incident. Therefore, we would only have a record of an adverse reaction if they included this in the details of the incident.
Please find attached a blank copy of the template used for reporting these incidents.
Additionally, we record incidents involving the deployment of irritant spray for members of the public and this would be recorded on our Use of Force form. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a copy of this form as it is not electronically extractable from our systems. However, this does not include where any members of the public have suffered an adverse reaction which has ‘required the administration of any first aid etc’.