25/03/2010

Police Taser Use Doubles

Specially-trained units used Tasers 402 times in the third quarter of last year, according to new figures published today.

When Tasers were introduced, only firearms-qualified officers could use them. But, following a successful trial, the devices can now be issued to new police teams with specialist training.

The new statistics record the use of the devices for the third quarter of 2009 and show they were used 402 times by specially trained units from July to September, up from 169 in the previous quarter.

Officers discharged them 67 times over the period, compared to 36 for the preceding period.

Units have now used Tasers 1,669 times since the trial began in September 2007 and discharged them 293 times.

Home Office Minister David Hanson said Tasers are a "vital police tool" which help protect both officers and the public.

"They do not even have to be discharged to help defuse violent or dangerous situations, often just drawing the device can be enough to deter criminals," he added.

(PR/NS)

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