Some of the restraint and self-defence measures approved by the Ministry of Justice include ramming knuckles into ribs and raking shoes down the shins. Other extraordinary passages in the previously secret manual, Physical Control in Care, authorise staff to:
■ "Use an inverted knuckle into the trainee's sternum and drive inward and upward."
■ "Continue to carry alternate elbow strikes to the young person's ribs until a release is achieved."
■ "Drive straight fingers into the young person's face, and then quickly drive the straightened fingers of the same hand downwards into the young person's groin area."
Earlier this month the government was prepared to go to a tribunal to fight against the disclosure of the manual, despite the information commissioner ruling that the public interest was so grave the document should be released. The Ministry of Justice backed down and last week released the entire 119-page document. Previously, officials had even refused to give a copy to the parliamentary human rights committee.