Use of force on young people in custody

Published

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

Things you need to know

Incidents are recorded on the Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint system. Any physical intervention is counted as a use of force.

Circumstances for each use of force are different. Direct comparisons between ethnicities and institutions should be avoided.

Figures show the average number of incidents per month based on a 12-month period.

Some young people may be involved in repeated incidents, in which case they will be included in the data more than once. This means that the rates of use of force should be considered with some caution.

The data does not include young people in custody whose ethnicity wasn’t known.

What the data measures

This data measures the rate of incidents in which staff at young offender institutions and secure training centres use force on young people. Data does not include incidents at secure children’s homes.

Use of force includes:

  • physically intervening to stop an assault or fight between young people
  • planned interventions to prevent serious harm to one or more young person
  • a last resort means of resolving ‘passive non-compliance’, where it is in the interests of the young person or other young people

The rate shown is the average number of incidents per 100 young people per month. Data is shown for each young offender institution and secure training centre that uses the Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint system.

'Young people’ are 10 to 17 years old. The data may also include some 18 year olds.

The ethnic categories used in this data

The number of young people involved in incidents of use of force was too small to make reliable generalisations about specific ethnic categories.

Because of this, we show data for 2 ethnic groups:

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

2. 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

3. Methodology

Young people in custody report their own ethnicity, which staff then record.

The number of young people in custody is counted at the start of each month. Figures also include new admissions during the month, and then averaged across a 12-month period.

Rounding

Average numbers of incidents and rates per 100 have been rounded to 1 decimal point. All calculations have been made using unrounded figures.

Related publications

Youth justice statistics.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Figures published before the release of the 2018 to 2019 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

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