Monday, 3 June 2013

Use of force

In training we often talk about 'the force ladder' and 'the use of force' and legal ramifications.  The law is set in regards to self defence and differs in each country. There are differences even between Scotland and England.  You don't really need to have a good understanding of the law as it is merely common sense, like most of the laws that govern us.  If someone attacks you, or lays hands on you, then you as an individual will know the perceived level of threat.  Someone touching your arm is not as serious as someone trying to bludgeon you.  However, the touching in another scenario may be just as serious.  

At the end of the day you are entitled to keep yourself safe, and if you feel threatened then you can use physical force.  You should of course try and exit or verbally de-escalate. However, you can't always run away and in some cases the de-escalation opportunity has come and gone. You must remember to be proportionate in your use of force and never to be excessive or cruel.  Common sense would tell you not to stamp on someones head, for example, unless you are in some sort of military life and death situation.  Then again, a multiple attack situation can be viewed as being as dangerous as being attacked by a single person with a knife.  At the end of the day most of us will never have to get physical, thankfully.  And if you do, then remember the use of force and make good decisions quickly.  Report a situation to the police, and a solicitor will argue in court for you if need be.  

Make your training micro reality.  Sometimes use break away techniques and verbal de-escalation.  Other times go all out.  

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