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The evidence considered by Brook House Inquiry

Types of evidence

  1. The Inquiry reviewed a wide range of documentation concerning use of force incidents, including:
  • Use of Force reports completed by Detention Custody Officers (DCOs) that detailed their accounts of what had happened;
  • debrief forms in which an officer reflected on what had happened;
  • electronic logbooks in which G4S recorded and summarised each incident by month;
  • Use of Force review meeting forms, which were handwritten single-page forms in which Detention Custody Manager (DCM) Stephen Webb (a C&R instructor and coordinator) reviewed the documentation for each use of force;
  • complaints by detained people and investigations carried out in response; and
  • contemporaneous footage of incidents, including covert footage taken by DCO Callum Tulley, and video evidence from body worn cameras, handheld cameras and CCTV.
  1. The Inquiry instructed an expert on the use of force, Mr Jonathan Collier, to review 43 use of force incidents and consider:
  • whether force was necessary, reasonable and proportionate in each incident;
  • general themes on the use of that force (including the adequacy of the recording and reviewing of incidents); and
  • the suitability of the current use of force model, particularly for vulnerable detained people.1

Evidence of training at Brook House

  1. The Initial Training Course (ITC), which staff were required to complete before the Home Office allowed them to engage in DCO duties, included 32 hours of training on C&R and personal protection.2 All DCOs and DCMs were required to complete annual C&R refresher training of eight further hours, and were not allowed to undertake frontline operational duties without this refresher training.3 A video was shown during training which emphasised that certain actions carry particular medical risks, such as putting pressure on the throat and neck area during a restraint.4
  2. The Inquiry heard evidence from members of staff who felt that the quality of the training they received on use of force was good.5 However, as discussed below, some staff were rightly concerned that there was a particular gap in the training concerning using force against people with mental ill health.6

Evidence of when and why force was used

  1. The G4S contract to manage Brook House replicated the requirement in the Detention Services Operating Standards Manual for IRCs that force should only be used in certain situations, as set out above.7
  2. Whenever a member of staff finds it necessary to use force, they are required to record the circumstances that led up to the use of force, the type of force that was used, and why it was used.8
  3. Based on the Inquiry’s review of Use of Force reports completed by G4S officers, there were 109 use of force incidents recorded as occurring during the relevant period, when there were on average around 450 people detained at Brook House.9 The number of use of force incidents recorded at Brook House varied from month to month – from 30 in April 2017 to 11 in August 2017.10 The majority were recorded as unplanned incidents (ie when force was reported to have been spontaneous or responsive to an unforeseen situation). Examples included the prevention of self-harm or assault, or for the personal safety of officers.11 However, G4S also recorded that “by far” the most common reason provided by officers for force being used was to “maintain good order and discipline”.12


  1. INQ000111, INQ000158 and INQ000177[]
  2. CJS0074041 para 48; Prison Service Order 1600: Use of Force (INQ000185), HM Prison Service, August 2005, para 7.1; CJS0074041 paras 48-70[]
  3. CJS0074041 para 55[]
  4. INQ000111_018 para 41[]
  5. David Webb 3 March 2022 121/20-122/4; INN000013_011 para 34[]
  6. For example, Steven Dix 9 March 2022 6/2-18; Ioannis Paschali 24 February 2022 21/9-20; Nathan  Ring 25 February 2022 55/13-22; Stephen Loughton 1 March 2022 102/22-103/4; Charles Francis 3  March 2022 8/5-8; Julian Williams 16 March 2022 60/3-9; Daniel Haughton 16 March 2022 149/14- 152/18; Stewart Povey-Meier 17 March 2017 4/3-5/12[]
  7. HOM000916_126; see INQ000050_76 para 1[]
  8. Prison Service Order 1600: Use of Force (INQ000185), HM Prison Service, August 2005, para 8.2[]
  9. Average population calculated using the occupancy on the last date of each month reported in IMB/G4S combined reports April–August 2017: IMB000021, IMB000050, IMB000011, IMB000047, IMB000019[]
  10. CJS000905_006; CJS000619_009[]
  11. INQ000111_011-012 paras 19-20. See Jonathan Collier 30 March 2022 91/7-10; INQ000111_012  para 24[]
  12. CJS000905_006; CJS000908_010; CJS000914_008; CJS000910_010; CJS000619_10[]