Bet You Didn’t Know – Use of Force

Bet You Didn’t Know – Use of Force



(Sections 1 and 2)

  1. Definitions:
  2. “Physical Force” includes the use of fists, hands and feet.
  3. “Mechanical Force” involves the use of some device or substance other than a firearm to overcome a subject’s resistance to the Law Enforcement Officer’s authority. Examples include the use of a baton or other object, canine physical contact with a subject or chemical or natural spray.
  4. “Lethal Force” involves the use of a firearm, bladed weapon, vehicle, nontraditional-weapon or force reasonable anticipated or intended to create a substantial likelihood of causing death or serious bodily injury.
  5. Factors to be considered when determining the Reasonable Use of Force.

In determining whether the level of force is “reasonable”, the following factors along with the prevailing circumstances of each case must be considered. These factors include but are not limited to the following;

  1. The conduct of the subject being confronted by the Law Enforcement Officer
  2. Whether the subject poses an imminent threat to the safety of the Law Enforcement Officer or other persons, taking into account the subject’s age, size, skill level and strength
  3. The mental capacity of the subject
  4. Whether the subject is resisting or attempting to evade arrest
  5. Whether the situation is tense, uncertain or rapidly evolving
  6. The seriousness of the crime(s) at issue
  7. The foreseeable risk of injury to Law Enforcement Officers, suspects or other persons
  8. The possible influence of drugs or alcohol on the subject
  9. Any previous arrest of the subject which include a pattern of violence
  10. The proximity of access to weapons by the subject
  11. The age, size and strength of the Law Enforcement Officers
  12. Environmental conditions and other exigent circumstances
  13. Training and experience of the Law Enforcement Officers
  14. Information and intelligence that has been communicated to the Law Enforcement Officer.

The above information derived from the Use of Force Policy for Law Enforcement Officers which was approved by Cabinet Conclusion No. 583 of 2015, dated 21st September 2015.


 “BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW” is a production of the Press Office of the Royal St Lucia Police Force.

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