Police chiefs’ refusal to support a much wider roll-out of TASER ‘disappointing’

26 January 2016

Police TASER

The NPCC’s decision not to support a much wider rollout of TASER is disappointing, said Police Federation Chair Steve White.

PFEW has been calling for an increase for some time, lobbying the Prime Minister and NPCC Chief Sara Thornton, and believes the need is underlined by recent terrorist attacks and other violent incidents.

Mr White said: “Our position has not changed. Last year the Police Federation voted unanimously to support a wider roll-out of Taser for officers who volunteer and receive proper training.

“The reasons are quite straight forward. It’s absolutely not about issuing TASER indiscriminately to just anyone. It’s simply to offer better protection to both the public and police officers themselves at a time when we are facing greater terrorist threats and seeing violent crime rates – including knife and firearms offences – rising quite alarmingly.

“Let’s not forget that in the hands of a properly-trained officer, TASER is a less than lethal tool – yet a useful one which can save lives. Had the two officers at the recent Leytonstone tube incident not used TASER, we might have been looking at multiple fatalities there instead of there being none.

“So we can’t understand why some police chiefs are so reluctant to consider a wider deployment.

“Police officers always run towards danger when everybody else runs away, so is it not wise to give all operational frontline officers the option to carry TASER if they want to – both to protect members of the public but also to offer greater protection for the thousands of our members who risk their lives on duty, day in, day out?”