On 23 March 2015, the Home Secretary announced the suspension of the Police Use of Taser and Police Use of Firearms statistical publications due to data quality concerns, which has previously resulted in incorrect data being published and reported to Parliament.
Following an internal review of the reporting process, officials, statisticians and the National Armed Policing Secretariat carried out a data validation exercise together with forces to address these concerns. In addition, the Home Office Chief Statistician wrote to forces’ commissioners / chief constables asking them to confirm figures for their force. The Home Office Chief Statistician is now satisfied that the figures provided by forces are of sufficient quality to publish.
I am today publishing official statistics on police use of firearms in England and Wales for 2013-14 (financial year) and on police use of Taser in England and Wales for 2014 (calendar year). This release also includes revisions to previously published figures and covers all 43 forces in England and Wales.
Police Use of Firearms Statistics 2013-14 (financial year)
The Police Use of Firearms release shows that:
- There were 14,864 police firearms’ operations in 2013-14. This represents a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.
- There were 12,061 police firearms’ operations involving Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs) in 2013-14. This represents a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.
- In 2013-14, 81% of police firearms’ operations involved ARVs. The proportion has remained fairly stable in recent years.
- There were 5,875 police firearms’ officers at the end of March 2014. This represents a decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.
- The police discharged firearms in 2 operations in 2013-14 (down from 3 operations in 2012-13).
Police Use of Taser Statistics, 2014 (calendar year)
The Police Use of Taser release shows that:
- The Police used Taser 10,062 times in 2014, representing a decrease of 3% (-318) compared with 2013.
- Non-discharges accounted for 80% of Taser use in 2014.
- Drive stun and angle-drive stun accounted for 3% of Taser use in 2014.
- Fired accounted for 17% of Taser use in 2014.
Copies of both statistical publications will be placed in the House library.
The full sets of commentary and data are published on Gov.uk:
Review of the publication of Taser data and other use of force
At the Black Mental Health and Home Office Summit on 23 October 2014, the Home Secretary asked Chief Constable David Shaw to lead a review of the publication of Taser data and other use of force by police officers.
In a recent update on progress, CC David Shaw informed the Home Secretary that he has established a project team to lead the review with oversight provided by a programme board comprising representatives from key policing and other interested organisations. Early work is focused on finalising the scope and approach to the review, mapping the existing arrangements for recording the police use of force and identifying best practice. The review will consider the requirements for data on the police use of a range of actions including physical restraint such as arm locks and pressure compliance, the use of batons and incapacitant sprays, the use of Tasers and lethal force. It will concentrate initially on higher end use of force and in particular where there may be issues around public confidence.
Chief Constable David Shaw will report his findings and recommendations to the Home Secretary towards the end of the year.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: