JPeretti

Is there a specific law relating to the carrying of handcuffs?

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Hello,

In my daily job in a different emergency service, I come across some very questionable characters and sometimes find evidence of offences in the homes that I enter into. I let pretty much all offences slide, as it's not really my job to get involved with drugs etc in the capacity that I work in, and it's not worth my time calling the police for every little thing, so it's just easier to look the other way.

However, I am also a solo responder most of the time and can be subject to abuse, with nobody to help me. This is usually verbal and has only been physical on perhaps 1 or 2 occasions. The big red button on my radio is all well and good, but the county force in the area where I work is very understaffed and even an urgent assistance call can take a very long time to resource.

My question is, is there a specific law regarding carrying handcuffs a) for a regular person and b) for a warranted constable (off duty). I know obviously Police have an exemption on duty, however being an off duty warranted officer, you can potentially put yourself 'on duty' at any time you like... if an offence is committed of course.

I'm weighing up the pros and cons of carrying some rigid hiatts, (not visible obviously) on the rare occasion I may have to restrain someone on my own if they're trying to do me in, and I want to make sure this is legal before I do this.

Thank you!

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There is nothing in law (specifically) to prevent you carrying handcuffs. However, your employer may have other ideas on whether or not they'd allow you to carry them. And if you carried them without their knowledge (or consent) that could lead to a world of pain in your job. :hmmm:

You could also leave yourself open to a charge of assault if they were incorrectly applied and maybe even a charge of false imprisonment.

You would have to be 100% sure of the ground that you're on before even thinking of using them.

Whilst it may be legal for you to carry them, it may not be a good idea in reality. :ermm:

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I'm assuming that you're a health responder.

I can pretty much guarantee that if you took them out with you or used them then there would be a ****-storm coming your way!

I'd suggest not carrying them if i'm honest.

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Yea I mean I've managed without them for years, so it's not the end of the world if I don't use them. I just think it's silly that in this day and age, a person in a role who is potentially exposed to dangerous situations isn't allowed to carry any kind of defensive PPE, and there's been numerous reports over the years of responders being assaulted and basically just being a punching bag.

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Agreed, although best practice dictates that they aren't put on to people who aren't, at that time, compliant; ie ideally, you'd have control of the prisoner before putting them on.

There's probably other bits of PPE that'd be more useful as you've described.

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Conduct your normal dynamic risk assessment as a solo responder; if the situation seems like it is unsafe the withdraw to a safe distance and follow your employers procedures on calling for support.

Health responders are supposed to be neutral, which is why there is a huge resistance to overt PPE such as body armour, instead concentrating on risk assessment and break-away techniques.

I presume you work for an Ambulance Service with the language you use; if so, you need to be very careful about crossing boundaries with your roles...

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The best advice is don't carry a pair of cuff's I remember arresting a shoplifter off duty and a security guard handed me a pair of cuffs as the suspect had assaulted me in the process of arrest. The skipper that turned up had a few questions for me as to why he was in cuff's, so I pointed to the security guard and informed him that he had given them to me. It was mentioned in court and the CPS stood up and advised the bench that as I was on duty then the use of cuffs was correct.

If you don't get issued with staff don't buy it or carry it

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On 10/08/2016 at 15:28, Wing3q said:

The best advice is don't carry a pair of cuff's I remember arresting a shoplifter off duty and a security guard handed me a pair of cuffs as the suspect had assaulted me in the process of arrest. The skipper that turned up had a few questions for me as to why he was in cuff's, so I pointed to the security guard and informed him that he had given them to me. It was mentioned in court and the CPS stood up and advised the bench that as I was on duty then the use of cuffs was correct.

If you don't get issued with staff don't buy it or carry it

..just as it would have been correct if the security guard had used them...assuming minimum force etc.e tc. etc...

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My advice is that if you are going to carry handcuffs, ensure that you are professionally trained in their use. If you are not then you risk a charge of assault should you apply them improperly. Also make sure that you only apply them where justified, applying them on every suspect detained as a matter of routine could also attract and assault charge!

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