Use of force on young offenders in custody

Published

Last updated 1 August 2018 - see all updates

There is a new version of this page. View the latest version.

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2015/16, force was used with White young offenders less frequently than with young people from all other ethnic groups combined

  • the greatest difference between the frequency of use of force with young White offenders and those from all other ethnic groups combined was found in Werrington YOI and Cookham Wood YOI

Things you need to know

Simple conclusions or direct comparisons between ethnicities or institutions should be avoided, because the circumstances are different for each use of force.

The use of force figures reflect the average number of incidents in each month, based on incidents over the year. Incidents are recorded on the Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (MMPR) system, which counts any physical intervention as a ‘use of force’.

Two of the 6 institutions using MMPR switched to this system after April 2015 (the start of the period measured here): Werrington YOI in May 2015 and Cookham Wood in July 2015. Monthly averages for these institutions are calculated using the number of months the system ran for in the period instead of the full 12 months.

What the data measures

This data measures the rate of incidents in which staff at young offender institutions use force with young offenders, broken down by the ethnicity of young offenders.

Use of force is recorded under the Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (MMPR) system, which is used in some young offender institutions (YOIs) and secure training centres (STCs).

The rate shown is the average number of incidents per 100 young people per month, broken down by ethnicity (White or Other ethnic group) and shown for each YOI and STC that uses the MMPR system.

'Young people’ and 'young offenders' are aged between 10 and 17 years. The data may also include some 18 year olds.

Use of force can range from minor incidents to staff physically intervening to stop an assault or fight between young people. It also includes planned interventions to prevent serious harm to one or more young people, and a last-resort means of resolving ‘passive non-compliance’, where it is in the interests of the young person or other young people.

The data download also includes the average number of use of force incidents per month at each YOI and STC.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Because the number of young people involved in incidents was too small to draw any firm conclusions based on specific ethnic categories, the data is broken down into the following 2 broad categories:

  • White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
  • Other – all other ethnic minorities

2. Use of force on young offenders by ethnicity of offender

Average number of use of force incidents per 100 young people per month, and average number of monthly incidents, by ethnicity
White Other
Establishment White Number of incidents per 100 young people White Number of incidents Other Number of incidents per 100 young people Other Number of incidents
Cookham Wood YOI 30.5 25.6 58.2 60.2
Medway STC 24.5 7.5 31.2 12.2
Oakhill STC 38.8 20.9 52.1 20.3
Rainsbrook STC 26.8 16.9 30.9 8.2
Werrington YOI 18.4 13.2 38.7 26.3
Wetherby YOI 20.8 51.5 24.4 20.5

Download table data for ‘Use of force on young offenders by ethnicity of offender’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Use of force on young offenders by ethnicity of offender’ (CSV)

Summary of Use of force on young offenders in custody Use of force on young offenders by ethnicity of offender Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2015/16, force was used on young White people less frequently than with on young people from all other ethnic groups combined

  • the difference between how often force was used with young White people compared with people from all other ethnic groups combined varied according to youth offending institute (YOI)

  • in Werrington YOI and Cookham Wood YOI, young people from Other ethnic groups were involved in about twice the rate of use of force incidents as young White people – in other YOIs they were no more than a third more likely to be involved than young White people

3. Methodology

Young people self-report their ethnicity. Staff working in secure training centres and young offender institutions then record this information on an administrative system.

The numbers of young people in custody are counted at the beginning of each month, updated to include new admissions during the month, and then averaged across a 12-month period.

Ethnicity figures do not include data where ethnicity is unknown.

Rounding

Values have been rounded to 1 decimal place.

Further technical information

Data received from the establishments through monthly returns is validated through a reconciliation process on an annual basis.

Figures published before the release of the 2015/16 Youth justice statistics may have been revised since their original publication.

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Justice

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Youth justice data is used by the government to develop, monitor and evaluate criminal justice policy for young offenders. It reports on activity in the criminal justice system for England and Wales, giving information for the latest year and also longer-term trends.

5. Download the data

Use of force on young offenders in custody - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, value, numerator