UNDERSTANDING UNREASONABLE FORCE Understanding the Use of Force with Children and Young People The recent deaths in custody of 15-year-old Gareth Myatt and 14-year-old Adam Rickwood have brought the issue of the use of physical force with children and young people back to the forefront of people's minds. In both cases the issue of whether or not force should have been used was questioned. In short staff were not aware when they legally could or could not use force. Secondly, many techniques designed to control children safely within these so-called 'approved' systems are actually placing children at risk of increased injury and even death as the findings in this book will reveal. In addition, many staff employed to look after children in our society have been hospitalised, had limbs amputated and some have even been killed, resulting in a number of high profile cases having been lodged and won against employers who have failed to protect their staff from the risk posed by the children in their care, with payouts running into hundreds of thousands of pounds. This book aims to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that exist by looking squarely at the facts. The end result is that you will know when you may and may not use force with children and young people, what increases risk and what reduces risk. By doing this we can move towards the ultimate aim of this book, the protection of children and young people in our care, balanced also by the need to protect the staff who care for them. Due to the tragic losses of young people like Gareth and Adam, many child care professionals consider that any use of force with children and young people is unreasonable, hence thetitle of the book-Understanding Unreasonable Force. ABOUT THE AUTHORS: MARK DAWES: Mark Dawes, author of Understanding Reasonable Force and Managing the Monkey, is one of the UK's leading and most respected Senior National Coach Tutors and Expert Witnesses in the UK today. His knowledge of anatomy and physiology combined with his understanding of stress psychology, underpinned and supported by his practical in-depth working knowledge of the law, enables him to approach this subject from a very holistic perspective. Mark is also Director of NFPS Ltd., and organisation committed to excellence in the field of occupational physical skill instruction. DEBORAH JONES: involved working in various sections of the Criminal Justice System and also with some very respected public and private organisations, in roles ranging from child protection to working with young offenders, and more recently in the prevention of child abuse within families. Deborah has an Honours degree in Applied Social Studies from Liverpool University and is also an accomplished National Physical Skills Coach with specialist knowledge and competence of the law relating to the use of force with children and young people. As a result she is one of the UK's most sought after and respected consultant trainers and expert witnesses in her chosen professional field.