There are many designs of handcuffs on the market. Each police force will select what they believe is suitable for their employees.
Thames Valley Police has selected the Rigid handcuff, and this will be the ‘principal handcuff’ for all identified officers at the Force. No other design of handcuff may be used unless authorised by the Chief Constable.
Officers will be trained and, if successful, equipped with a set of Rigid handcuffs. Officers will annually take part in further Rigid handcuff training to remain licensed to carry and use this piece of equipment.
The application of handcuffs is based on the officer’s perception of the person at that time. The reasons for handcuffing someone are to prevent injury to the officer, the person being handcuffed or members of the public; and to prevent escape. When applied, the handcuffs are checked by the officer to minimise the risk of them causing injury.
The application of handcuffs must be proportionate and lawful. Any application of handcuffs will be classed as a use of force and as such documentation will be filled in to justify their use.