New handcuffing policy for MPS

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has launched a new policy on handcuffing that provides a clear framework for officers in a bid to increase the confidence of the public.

Nov 18, 2021
By Tony Thompson

The policy follows a review commissioned by MPS Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick in 2019, into the use of handcuffs before an arrest has taken place, recognising that it was a cause of community concern. The review was to ensure the tactic, for which there is a sound legal basis in some circumstances, was justified and recorded on each occasion it was used.

Following consultation with young black men aged between 16 and 25 years, to understand their experiences and perception that handcuffs were used disproportionately against them, and with police officers, to consider their experiences of policing London in the context that violence against them was becoming more frequent and serious, the MPS concluded the review in 2020 and made a number of recommendations.

The launch of the policy, which covers all aspects of the use of handcuffs, is the final recommendation from the 2020 review to be implemented. Officers are already receiving additional legal training, more public and personal safety training, with further emphasis on de-escalation; and more community input to understand the respective experiences of the public and police officers during encounters on the streets of London.

Dame Cressida said: “My number one priority remains tackling violent crime and keeping people safe from street crime – which is blighting the lives of too many young people.

“Alongside that, I have set out to increase the trust and confidence of communities in their police service. We know that not all communities have the same level of trust in us – I am determined to change that.

“The handcuffing review could not have taken place effectively without the input and contribution of many front line police officers and members of the public. I thank them all for their time, effort and valuable honesty.”

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