Conflict prevention, management, and physical intervention training are vital skills for individuals working in sectors where conflicts may arise, such as security, law enforcement, and healthcare, etc.
These training programmes not only teach techniques for defusing potentially dangerous situations but also cover the legal aspects of using force and the crucial skill of incident report writing.
The effectiveness of the skills lies is not about how they delivered and learnt during these courses but also, post training, in the ability of individuals to justify their use within the boundaries of the law.
Let’s consider the importance of comprehensive statements, the concept of unintended consequences in physical intervention, and the laws governing the use of force.
The Importance of a Detailed Statement
When faced with a situation requiring the use of physical intervention, producing a detailed, accurate and comprehensive statement is of paramount importance.
When an individual undergoes conflict prevention and management training, they learn the value of documenting every incident accurately.
A well-constructed statement is a critical tool in any conflict resolution scenario.
It should provide a clear and detailed account of the events leading up to the use of force.
This account should encompass the pre-cursors and attempts made to resolve the situation peacefully.
However, the essence of a good statement extends beyond the mere chronology of events.
It should also convey the reasoning behind the use of force, highlighting why other methods failed or were not feasible.
This is particularly important when the use of force becomes a necessity due to the imminent danger posed by another person.
Preclusion’s part in the Use of Force
Preclusion, in the context of conflict management and the use of force, refers to the idea that an individual must reasonably believe that there is no alternative course of action available to prevent harm.
It plays a crucial role in determining whether the use of force was justified or not.
When documenting an incident, it is imperative to explain how preclusion was a significant factor in your decision to use force.
For example, if a person was faced with an aggressive individual who was advancing with a weapon and all attempts to de-escalate the situation failed, the person’s statement should articulate how they reasonably believed that the imminent danger left them with no choice but to use force to protect themselves or others.
Unintended Consequences in Physical Intervention
In real-life situations, the line between intended actions and unintended consequences can become blurred.
Physical intervention techniques are taught as a last resort, used when all other options have failed to control a situation, or as above, there is no time to consider alternative options or actions.
However, even when these techniques are employed with the intention of achieving control, unintended consequences can arise.
This is a critical concept to understand when documenting incidents.
Unintended consequences in physical intervention refer to situations where the actions taken to establish control result in outcomes different from what was initially intended.
For instance, if a person uses a restraint technique to immobilise an aggressive individual but inadvertently causes injury due to the person’s movements or behaviour, this can be considered an unintended consequence.
In such cases, it is essential to clearly document one’s rationale behind the intention to physically intervention, ie; the circumstances leading up to it, and any factors that contributed to the unintended consequences.
Transparency in reporting is key to ensuring that the incident is thoroughly reviewed and assessed.
The use of force, particularly in situation where physical interventions is required, especially in a professional capacity, is tightly regulated by the law.
These laws define when and how force can be used and the circumstances under which it is considered justifiable.
In the UK the law relating to the use of force and whether a person’s actions were appropriate, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances is subject to that person’s genuine and honestly held at that time.
It is essential for individuals receiving conflict prevention, management, and physical intervention training to have a solid understanding of the laws pertaining to their use within the area/sector of work.
In the event of legal proceedings ignorance of these laws is not a valid defence.
Conflict prevention, management, and physical intervention training should equip individuals with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle tense and potentially challenging situations effectively and responsibly.
When faced with the need to use force, a well presented and documented statement that covers the pre-cursors, preclusion if relevant, and any unintended consequences is invaluable.
Understanding the laws governing physical intervention is equally critical, as it ensures that actions taken are legally defensible.
By integrating these components into your training courses, professionals can contribute to safer environments while minimising the risk of legal repercussions.
Who is Trevel Henry
I am a long established trainer and consultant.
I was the former head of training for a major Police Service, so I have experience in not only delivering training but experience in developing, reviewing, evaluating and auditing training too.
Whilst working there I was regularly asked by the complaints and discipline unit to review disciplinary cases, many of which involved the use of force.
I am a highly respected Expert Witness on the Use of Reasonable Force in the UK and overseas.
I have done over three hundred expert witness cases.
I have worked on high profile cases where restraint related issues have been a key factor, involving the police, prison, security, schools, care setting, NHS and young people’s services.
But what does this mean to you?
It means that NFPS Ltd can provide training for you that is legally defensible.
Contact us to learn more – https://nfps.info/contact-nfps/