Armed Policing

The Authorised Professional Practice (APP) has been approved by the College of Policing as the official and most up-to-date source of professional practice on policing. South Yorkshire Police have adopted APP as its Statement of Agreed Policy. This is the agreed policy on Armed Policing and you may wish to refer to the APP section now.


The South Yorkshire Police, SYP, procedure on Post Incident Management for Incidents Including those Involving Death/Serious Injury Following Police Contact is currently under review. As such, SYP cannot currently confirm any additions or exceptions to the APP guidance in this area.

Until the review is complete, all procedures relating to this area of policing are contained within a document separate to this policy, ref D51538.


In addition to APP, South Yorkshire Police’s statement of agreed policy on Armed Policing includes;


This policy applies to South Yorkshire Police Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) and Conducted Energy Device Officers, those who are responsible for the training, management, command or deployment of those officers, or those who are otherwise involved in incidents requiring the police use of firearms as part of their role.

Aims and Objectives:

The aim of this policy and its associated procedural instructions is to provide those officers and staff who may be called upon to deal with incidents involving the police use of firearms with the knowledge and information necessary for them to safely and effectively resolve those incidents. It is aimed at providing all police officers and police staff with access to definitive advice about their roles and responsibilities and the procedures concerned with incidents involving the police use of firearms and less lethal weapons.

It also provides all South Yorkshire Police Staff involved with Conducted Energy Device, the knowledge and information necessary for them to act safely and effectively.

Armed Policing

The Operational Support Unit, OSU, will maintain comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in relation to all management, command and operational aspects of its deployment of armed officers, which will underpin this policy document. This includes the use of Conducted Energy Devices in Armed operations, where all Officers will continue to follow the YaTH SOPs. The Chief Inspector of Firearms Training and Protect within the OSU will ensure that all SOP's are regularly reviewed and re-published annually following ratification by the Firearms Steering Group or Nominated Senior Firearms Officer (ACC Ops Support). 

Deployment of Conducted Energy Devices

South Yorkshire Officers adhere to APP when deploying Conducted Energy Devices in non-Firearms situations. All relevant trained staff, should adhere to current Conducted Energy Device SOPs within the Force.

Legal Framework

·           Home Office (2003) Code of Practice on Police Use of Firearms and Less Lethal Weapons

·           The Human Rights Act 1998 (which gives further effect to the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights) and in particular Article 2 Right to Life

·           Section 3 (1) Criminal Law Act 1967

·           Common law, in particular provisions in respect of self-defence and Section 117 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 and accompanying Codes of Practice

·           Section 76 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008


Associated Procedural Instructions

This policy is supported by the subsequent procedural instructions

·         Pi1.1  – Police use of Firearms

·         D51538 – Post Incident Management Procedures for Incidents Involving Deaths or Serious Injury in Police Contact


Other relevant policy documents you may wish to consider are:

·         Health and Safety at Work (Etc) Act 1974

·         D51512 Information Management and Compliance.

·         Conducted Energy Device Standard Operating Procedures



Equality Act 2010

The Act creates a statutory requirement for all Functions and Policies (Including Procedural Instructions) to be analysed for their effect on equality, diversity and human rights, with due regard to the General Equality Duty.

In principle, this document has been assessed for discrimination, which cannot be justified, among other diverse groups.

The Code of Ethics published in 2014 by the College of Policing requires us all to do the right thing in the right way. It also recognises that the use of discretion in Policing is necessary but in using discretion, states that you should, "take into account any relevant policing codes, guidance, policies and procedures into consideration."


Human Rights/Discretion:

The purpose of providing policy is to give an indication to staff of the expected course of action.  However it is not possible to cater for every possible combination of factors that would justify a departure from stated policy.  The Human Rights Act 1998 requires the proper use of discretion at all times and nothing within this policy and associated procedural instructions prohibits the proper use of discretion in appropriate circumstances.

Where action is taken that has the potential to interfere with an individual’s Human Rights, the reasons behind the making of the decision to act in that way should be recorded on the appropriate forms, or where this is not practicable, in pocket books or policy logs.


Rights of redress for members of the public:

Anyone who feels that a member of staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, or who is dissatisfied with organisational matters, service delivery or other operational policing issues, has the right to make a complaint.

Initial action should be taken in one of the following ways:

·         Complain in writing or in person to the Senior Officer at the appropriate police station or to the Chief Constable of the force concerned.

·         Visit a local Citizens' Advice Bureau

·         Contact a Solicitor


Rights of redress for South Yorkshire Police personnel:

South Yorkshire Police personnel who feel they have grounds for concern in relation to the implementation of policies may, as appropriate:

·         Pursue concerns through their line manager.

·         Contact a First Contact Advisor.

·         Pursue a grievance formally through the Grievance Resolution procedure.

·         Seek advice from their staff association or trades union.

·         Use procedural instruction D50241 Management of Complaints, in the section entitled Handling Complaints relating to Direction and Control. 


Start Date:

This statement of agreed policy is new (16/01/18)


Tuesday, 16 January, 2018 - 00:00