ENHANCED SAFETY, REDUCED FATIGUE
• Reduced the need for mechanical aids
• Reduced the number of police officers required to restrain an individual
• Reduced Police Officers’ fatigue
• Enhanced safety for both prisoner and Police Officer
• Reduced the amount of force needed during restraint
• Enabled Police Officers to swap positions when required
Humberside Police Officers have described how using a Safety Pod in their custody suite has enhanced their safety and eliminated the need for mechanical aids such as fast straps for a prisoner’s legs.
Describing the Safety Pod as a “useful bit of kit,” one officer explained how using it during restrictive practices acted as a de-escalation tool and meant less officers had to intervene.
He said: “Rather than wrestling on the floor or mattress, taking two or three officers to hold legs down and arms down, it’s a case of two officers, potentially even one, being able to restrain somebody. It’s something definitely worthwhile in assisting us.”
Speaking of the positive impact on officers’ wellbeing, he added: “It certainly reduced fatigue [compared to] if you’re on the floor constantly moving around for five to 10 minutes and even up to an hour.
“Being in that sort of position where you’re not putting as much force onto [the individual] you’re not having to use as much strength and your endurance lasts a bit longer.
“You could have quite easily stood in that position with him for upwards of an hour without being too tired.”
He added that at one point, a colleague who was restraining the individual with him swapped position with another colleague to go and grab a pair of gloves.
“It was quite easy,” he said.
“One officer managed to hold [him] where he was while the other came in and took over quite easily.”
Speaking of this particular incident in custody, the officer described how using the Safety Pod, he was able to put “a bit more pressure on” to restrain the individual, “without exerting too much and being too forceful with them”.
“He [the detainee] was struggling a couple of times with trying to get up and with even minimal force of barely putting just your body weight on he was struggling to move even a couple of inches,” said the officer.
Another officer added: “It makes the environment a lot safer. Instead of putting them on the floor on a hard surface, it’s a lot more comfortable for him as well as us.”
In this particular case, using the pod took out the need for mechanical devices of restraint or the need for additional numbers of staff to intervene.
Speaking of how the situation would have been different without the pod, he added: “We would have ended up on the floor, we would probably have ended up using fast straps because of the movement of his legs.
“By putting him on the bean bag, it stopped his legs being a risk factor for us.”