Cops showed an MP and community leaders how they safely use force to detain suspects.
Police gave Ellie Reeves, MP for Lewisham West and Penge, a clearer picture of how they are trained to handle certain high-pressure situations.
Also present at Lewisham Police Station were two members from the Met’s South East Independent Advisory Group (IAG) as officers demonstrated the techniques used to safely detain and arrest someone.
The session was designed to give them a better understanding of how and why officers carry out these important tactics, if necessary.
Mick Chattenton, Chief Inspector for Neighbourhoods in the South East, said: “We appreciate that some people have questions about certain tactics, and it’s important that our community understands what we do and why we do it.
“That’s why we invited in a small group who represent their community, so we could help give a clearer idea of how we police in certain scenarios and answer any questions.
“By doing this we hope to strengthen confidence and understanding in our tactics, and help build on our relationships with the community.
“Officers receive regular training to ensure that any force used is appropriate. All front line officers are also equipped with body worn cameras so there is a clear and impartial record of interactions with the public.
“Officers have thousands of interactions with the public every day, and in only a fraction is force used. It is important to note that in cases where force is used, an officer must properly record this and account for why the level of force used was lawful, proportionate and necessary in the circumstances.”
IAG member Alessandra Valenic said: “It is impressive to see how much a massive organisation as the Metropolitan Police Service is willing to put itself in discussion and it is willing to get criticised by third parties in order to reach one simple goal: get better.”
MP Ellie Reeves said: “I was very pleased to attend the Officer Safety course for new recruits and see first-hand the training our police receive.
“They face difficult situations daily and it is therefore incredibly important they receive the best training. I was really impressed by the intensity of the training and the level of skill involved.”
The session came two weeks after an inquest heard a black man who died after being restrained by officers in Lewisham was not unwell enough to be sectioned shortly before his death.
Kevin Clarke, 35, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, was restrained by police on March 9, 2018 before he “became unwell” and was sent to Lewisham Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The inquest into his death at Southwark Coroners’ Court, which opened on September 7, has investigated whether the actions of police contributed to or caused his death.
He frequently suffered mental health crises – about every six months – and would attend a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
Pictured top: MP Ellie Reeves attends officer safety training in Lewisham
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