Taser - 266/15
Dated: 08 Apr 2015
Date of request: 11/03/15
Date of response: 08/04/15
Provision of informati11 held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)
Thank you for your email dated 10 March 2015 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act for details of complaints against officers alleging misuse (including inappropriate use and similar terminology) of Tasers.
More specifically I am requesting the following:
1a) In calendar year 2014, the total number of complaints received against officers in relation to Taser use (please also provide a figure for the number of officers complained about, if different).
1b) A breakdown for each complaint, detailing the following; a summary of the complaint including details of any injuries related to the complaint; the sex of the complainant if available; the number of officers involved; the sex and rank of the officer/s; the action taken against the officer (eg. verbal warning, written warning, outcome of any disciplinary action, suspended, fired, resigned, criminal action, referral to the IPCC),
2a and b) The same for calendar year 2013
3a and b) The same for calendar year 2012
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
The information provided has been extracted from a ‘live’ database and may be subject to the addition and deletion of complaints, complainants and subjects after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this request.
Data has been checked for allegations recorded between 01/01/2012 and 31/12/14 for complaint and conduct matters relating to complaints about use of Taser by Police Officers.
The allegation summaries were checked for the words ‘taser’ and ‘stun’ each case file was then read to determine if the allegation was linked to a complaint about use of Taser. The results are shown in the table below.
3 Both the below were male complainants. Rank & sex of officers: Male PCs
a) Complaint of excess force. Back pain. 1 officer linked to allegation. Outcome: Dispensation by IPCC
b) Complaint of excess force. Bruising. 2 officers linked to allegation. Outcome No case to answer, complainant appealed, IPCC did not uphold appeal.
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.