Show some restraint…

Restraining someone who is leaning forward in a seated position for a prolonged period does increase the risk of harm or death, according to research funded by the Youth Justice Board.

Academic researchers found that those who took part in their experiments with seated restraint techniques repeatedly reported that they couldn’t breathe. One volunteer was in such distress that they felt obliged to abort the experiment.

“This is the first time this has occurred during our work on restraint,” said Dr John Parkes of Coventry University’s faculty of health.

He said the experience of being unable to breathe may cause the restrained person to panic and attempt to break out of the restraint. This in turn to leads the restraining staff to apply even greater force, thereby increasing the danger.

The research paper, The Effect of Seated Restraint and Body Size on Lung Function, by Parkes, Doug Thake and Mike Price, appears on Wednesday in Medicine, Science and the Law published by RSM Press.

The findings may have a bearing on cases such as that of Jimmy Mubenga, a 46-year-old Angolan, who died while being deported from Britain last year. The Home Office is currently conducting a comprehensive review of restraint techniques used on aircraft during deportations and removals.

Parkes said that most of the research so far into the use of restraint techniques in prisons or mental health services had focused on people who were being held prone on the floor or even hogtied (when limbs are tied together).

“However, it is clear that deaths have occurred in other positions. This study was carried out with the intention of applying previously used methodology to seated restraint positions, including examination of the effects of body size and leaning forward during seated restraint.

Helen Shaw, co-director of Inquest, which advises the families of those who die in custody, said the research findings were significant. “We have seen at inquests cases of people who have been struggling for their lives because they couldn’t breathe while they were being restrained.

“This has been misinterpreted by restraining staff to mean they were attempting to escape and they have then held them down more forcefully. But this research confirms that is not the case,” said Shaw.

The Youth Justice Board chief executive, John Drew, said the report had been shared with relevant government departments who had been asked to “consider the findings and take any appropriate actions to ensure that existing and future systems of restraint are adjusted accordingly”.

We had an extensive input on this subject on my last ‘control and restraints course’. The issue occurs when a person fights hard for as long as they are able, this causes a drop in oxygen system wide. Under normal circumstances, the body can recover, however if they are restrained face down or in such a way that the body cannot draw in enough oxygen to recover the debt-the person is in serious danger of becoming comatose and dying…

There is no way to prevent this happening… if the person arrested ‘goes off on one’ it’s a big problem…

Of course, there IS A TECHNIQUE to prevent this…

I saw it done on COPS t’other night…

A chap that was around the 18-stone mark, about 6ft tall and built like a brick-toilet was put under arrest by two response cops… another unit turned up and took position behind him… This guy told them plainly he wasn’t coming quietly-even though he was facing the patrol car with his hands on the bonnet…

So… one of the cops shot him in the back with a TASER… he went to the floor like a sack of spuds… he needed another zap to remind him who was in charge and he was popped into handcuffs and put in the patrol car-safely behind a cage…

No fighting, no chance of him being hurt or dying of positional asphyxia, no chance of the officers being injured or… feeling so threatened they needed to draw their .44 cal. Colt pistols.

That wouldn’t happen here…because…

We don’t all have taser… don’t listen to what you hear on TV… we don’t have them… we have a couple of officers on each shift with them… yes, I know the Home Secretary ORDERED the CC’s to arm us but they have IGNORED her…


I love the trainers final comment, “you really need to take this away from you because if it goes wrong  you will be on your own…”

So what’s new?



One response to “Show some restraint…

  1. Probably it would have been better to prevent Mubenga from ever entering the country in the first place – but that’s never going to happen.

    It would be a expecting a miracle for Helen Shaw to understand the restraint techniques are applied to people when they kick off. No-one is going around choking compliant detainees. It is a sad fact that things can go wrong in a violent confrontation, but people like Mubenga could help themselves by not starting a fight in the first place. He wasn’t struggling for breath when he started to resist deportation, and you can’t have people thrashing around in a fight on a plane.

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