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A question regarding the law

shogunronin

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#1
Recently, I got into a bit of a situation with a known shoplifter. He is known for being aggressive and dangerous. He was banned from the site and he decided to try and gain entry whilst intoxicated (I had a black eye already from another innocent on the same day lol) As soon as I saw him approach I called for backup. He then came closer and I stood infront of him at the door. He then began walking closer to me with his fists clenched.

Ok so my job is to use minimum force. I took a few steps back and asked him not to come closer. He then began running for me and went to smack me in the face. I then put my hands up to protect my face. I dodged out the way of the strike. He then approached me once more. I put my hands out to stop him coming closer. He then tries his hardest to push me back and he ends up falling over on the floor.

Looking back on the CCTV, it looks like the push was harder than it was. I used reasonable force to stop him gaining entry, as he was a threat to those inside.

The incident has made me look deeper into this issue. As a licensed operative, I have to use minimal force. The problem is - what if that minimal force you use causes someone to be killed or injured? I have seen reports of a slight push back killing someone (because they fell over and hit their head on a brick) or even a drunk person falling over and ending up dead because you tried to kick them out whilst they were drunk and sitting down. The law is definitely not on our side. I know we can use pre-emptive strikes, but you have to be able to fully justify it in court against a prosecution solicitor.

It then made me think about all of the aggressive shoplifters I stop. In my previous companies, I have never had any restraint training. So for instance, you end up stopping a shoplifter who becomes aggressive. You then restrain him. He ends up with a bruise on his shoulder and files a assault charge. It ends up in court, and the lawyer asks you 'what restraint training have you had?' Oh your honor, I have had none..'' Oh in that case, you should not have been using them.'' - very likely you could have a assault charge.

So where is the line? And how have other officers dealt with these issues?
 

GI0VANNI

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#2
1 previously banned from the site, trying to break in, OFENCE
2 Assaulting a SO, OFENCE

As soon as the shoplifter assaults you and you are defending yourself and as long as each and every action you had to take was just with the intent to protect your personal integrity and minimize the chance of self harm of the offender I understand that you can "walk free" with any charge os assault.

Assault

The most important part for me comes here:
If the defendant has a lawful excuse to use force, the actions will not amount to an assault. This includes:
Reasonable punishment of a child S.58 Children Act 2004
Where the victim consents
Where the defendant acts in self- defence or prevention of a crime

Even failing to evade all the previous conditions for assault, as long as you get to include your actions in this LAWFUL excuses to exert harm.... on the attacker you should walk free.
 

colonel45155

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#3
I'd like to break this down if I may...

Recently, I got into a bit of a situation with a known shoplifter. He is known for being aggressive and dangerous. He was banned from the site and he decided to try and gain entry whilst intoxicated (I had a black eye already from another innocent on the same day lol)

Where do you work, shop or licensed premises? Did he shoplift there, did you witness it? You had a black eye? Wherever it is I would have given you time off until your black eye healed, that is not the impression I'd, or the venue of business would like to be sending out. Bruiser bouncer on the door.

As soon as I saw him approach I called for backup. He then came closer and I stood infront of him at the door. He then began walking closer to me with his fists clenched.

Really bad start, bruiser with a black eye obstructing a known aggressive shoplifter, guy had no way to back out without losing face so had in his mind to retaliate, (in his mind) Why not say "hi buddy, how are you?" Judge his body language, speech etc then plan your next move before instigating your next move?

Ok so my job is to use minimum force. I took a few steps back and asked him not to come closer. He then began running for me and went to smack me in the face. I then put my hands up to protect my face. I dodged out the way of the strike. He then approached me once more. I put my hands out to stop him coming closer. He then tries his hardest to push me back and he ends up falling over on the floor.

You didn't 'ask' him not to come closer in his eyes, all he saw was someone in front of him blocking his path as to where he wanted to go, there's where you fukd up m8. The best 'bouncers', and I hate that word, are the ones who will diffuse, at that point there was nothing to diffuse, a simple, "where are you going buddy/pal/mate/bro? would have got the conversation going.

Looking back on the CCTV, it looks like the push was harder than it was. I used reasonable force to stop him gaining entry, as he was a threat to those inside.

You seem to be convincing yourself mate, your reasonable force was what?

The incident has made me look deeper into this issue. As a licensed operative, I have to use minimal force. The problem is......

Your understanding of the job. !!!!!!!

- what if that minimal force you use causes someone to be killed or injured? I have seen reports of a slight push back killing someone (because they fell over and hit their head on a brick) or even a drunk person falling over and ending up dead because you tried to kick them out whilst they were drunk and sitting down.

People here have seen it in real life bro, you don't have my sympathy, in fact because you have posted this here I hope someone recognizes you and you never work again.

The law is definitely not on our side. I know we can use pre-emptive strikes, but you have to be able to fully justify it in court against a prosecution solicitor.

I hope it's me you meet in court someday in the future.
I disagree of your choice of words, I did years on the doors and never used the term 'kick someone out' yes we had times when minimal force was needed, I believe you should take another look at what powers you have as a DS. What did your tutor tell you in the course?

It then made me think about all of the aggressive shoplifters I stop. In my previous companies, I have never had any restraint training. So for instance, you end up stopping a shoplifter who becomes aggressive. You then restrain him. He ends up with a bruise on his shoulder and files a assault charge. It ends up in court, and the lawyer asks you 'what restraint training have you had?' Oh your honor, I have had none..'' Oh in that case, you should not have been using them.'' - very likely you could have a assault charge.
So where is the line? And how have other officers dealt with these issues

Who's your employer?

I could have delved a lot more into this but this was just a quick reply, took more time actually than I intended but to be honest if you take my criticism as constructive and think about it then I hope it has helped.

Regards

Col
 
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shogunronin

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#4
Thank you very much for the feedback, Col.

I was working in a shopping complex in central London at the time. He was someone we had caught previously shoplifting on multiple occasions.

I'll admit I was slightly hurt from a few of your criticisms, although you generally want to help me get better, so i've taken all of your advice on board and will implement them when faced with a similar scenario.

As a professional, I always try my hardest to see the weak areas of how I handled a situation. Sometimes, I over-analyse things too much. So I find that posting on this board helps one see the blindspots in how they handled things, as I always desperately try to get better.

I'll be happy to post my employer in PM, as I feel a bit uncomfortable posting it in public.

Many thanks again for your honest true words
 
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colonel45155

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#5
Your reply here is enough, we all had to start somewhere. If any of my points have given you food for thought then that's enough for me. Our profession is not one for hurt feelings... It's why we hit the bar at the end of jobs, just promise me one thing, no more black eyes! Not on you or others. SIA license dosen't make you a 'professional' your attitude and experience does. It's a bit like passing your driving test, you never learn to drive 'til you pass your test.

Well done for listening and taking what I said on board.

Regards

Col
 
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