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  • Writer's pictureAndy Oldham

Handcuffing: not as simple as it looks

I was working on a set last week, and was asked for advice on handcuffing techniques, as the scene called for one of the cast to be arrested and carted away by police.

There are lots of ways you could do it, but only a couple of ways to ensure it looks right! Police officers are trained in various techniques for handcuffing people, and these differ depending on whether they're compliant or not, and even what sort of offence they've been arrested for.

And the rigid bar handcuffs used by UK police are designed to allow control over the arrested person, if necessary, by causing pain - again officers are trained in these techniques which should only ever be used to gain compliance, never as any sort of punishment!

Did you know: The decision to handcuff or not to handcuff is one for the individual police officer, based on their assessment of the risk - there is no rule that says every detained person gets handcuffed.

As a Police Advisor, I absolutely understand that directors of Film and TV productions have to strike the balance between reality and the needs of the drama. However, there are always things that productions don’t get quite right - sometimes, very easy things to avoid/fix! I'll be posting these occasionally, as they occur to me - enjoy!

Could your next Film or TV production benefit from a Police Advisor? Please get in touch for a free, no obligation chat about how I might be able to help your production look and feel authentic, without holding up the story!


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