Use of force on young people in custody

Published

Last updated 5 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • between April 2018 and March 2019, there were on average 604.1 incidents per month in which staff used force on young people in custody

  • the rate of incidents was higher for White young people in custody than for young people from all other ethnic groups combined

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the number of incidents at young offender institutions and secure training centres where staff used force on young people. It also shows the rate of incidents for every 100 young people in custody.

Use of force includes:

  • physically stopping an assault or fight
  • a planned intervention to prevent serious harm to a young person
  • resolving ‘passive non-compliance’, where it is in the interests of the young person or other young people

‘Young people’ are 10 to 17 years old. The data may also include some 18 year olds who remained in youth custody for a short time.

Numbers and rates have been rounded to 1 decimal point, but have been worked out with unrounded figures.

Not included in the data

The data does not include incidents that happened in secure children’s homes.

How use of force rates rates are calculated

The rate shown is the average number of incidents for every 100 young people in custody per month, based on 12 months of data.

The ethnic groups used in the data

Data is shown for 2 ethnic groups:

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

This is because the number of young people involved in use of force incidents was too small to make reliable generalisations about specific ethnic groups.

Young people in custody report their own ethnicity. The data does not include young people in custody whose ethnicity was not known.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document (PDF opens in a new window or tab) for the data on this page.

Some young people may be involved in more than one use of force incident, in which case they will be included in the data more than once.

There are more White young people in custody compared with other ethnic groups. You can read more about how group size affects the reliability of data.

3. By ethnicity of offender

Average rate of use of force incidents per 100 young people in custody per month, and average number of incidents per month, by ethnicity
All White Other than White
Establishment All Average number of incidents per 100 young people All Average number of incidents White Average number of incidents per 100 young people White Average number of incidents Other than White Average number of incidents per 100 young people Other than White Average number of incidents
All 59.6 604.1 60.2 304.0 59.3 297.8
Cookham Wood YOI 25.5 47.8 26.1 18.6 24.8 28.8
Feltham YOI 56.0 92.8 51.6 28.4 59.2 63.9
Medway STC 104.3 48.8 118.1 21.2 95.7 27.6
Oakhill STC 154.8 101.8 146.7 42.2 161.0 59.6
Parc YOI 83.6 38.6 81.3 25.4 88.3 13.2
Rainsbrook STC 129.0 97.4 126.7 66.5 134.4 30.9
Werrington YOI 35.5 45.8 39.7 22.8 32.1 22.9
Wetherby YOI 44.1 131.1 41.3 78.9 49.3 50.8

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity of offender’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity of offender’ (CSV)

Summary of Use of force on young people in custody By ethnicity of offender Summary

The data shows that:

  • between April 2018 and March 2019, there were on average 604.1 incidents per month in which force was used by staff on young people in custody

  • Oakhill secure training centre had the highest rate of use of force incidents among White young people in custody, at 146.7 incidents per 100 people

  • it also had the highest rate among young people from all other ethnic groups combined, at 161.0 incidents per 100 people

  • Cookham Wood youth offending institute had the lowest rate of use of force incidents among both White and ethnic minority young people in custody, at 26.1 and 24.8 incidents per 100 people

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

The data is used by the government to develop, monitor and evaluate criminal justice policy for young offenders in England and Wales.

5. Download the data

Use of force on young people in custody data - Spreadsheet (csv) 877 bytes

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, institution name, average number of incidents, rate of incidents per 100 young people