Use of Taser

19 August 2016

The Police Federation of England and Wales continues to believe that Taser is an effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations that officers face on the streets.

In over 80% of cases where a Taser was drawn last year, it was not fired as the deterrent was enough.

Calum Macleod, Vice-Chair, said: “As Police officers we are accountable to the public and are under constant scrutiny in relation to the decisions we make, this is only right as we are here to protect them.  There are numerous incidents where Taser has been used and saved lives, however Taser is not the panacea to every situation that arises and each officer should be fully aware of the necessity to justify their actions.

"Taser is an option that can be used to protect the public and police officers themselves,  and that is why we have been calling for every officer who wants to carry Taser - and is willing to be trained, tested and held accountable for its use - to be allowed to do so.  This is not only to provide greater public reassurance but to offer greater protection for our members who risk their lives on duty, to defend the public, day in, day out.

"Last year there were more than 23,000 assaults on officers – that’s 63 a day – which is totally unacceptable. Earlier this month a man was charged with the attempted murder of a Sheffield police officer who was attacked with an axe. Had she been equipped with Taser, she might not have been so severely injured, suffering a fractured skull and broken leg.  Incidents like this are far too common.

"The current threat the country is exposed to and the fact officer numbers have fallen by 20,000 since 2010,  means the ability to respond is becoming ever more challenging and all officers are asking for is the ability to protect the public in an effective manner, to be able to run towards danger when everyone else is running away. They need the tools to do the job.”

Sergeant Mark Jones, a Taser-carrying officer from Denbighshire in North Wales, added: “You could ask why I would need a Taser at a ‘Cuppa with a Copper’ morning in the local Marks and Spencer, or why I feel it necessary to carry a Taser to a community meeting. Sadly we work in a business where we have to expect the unexpected and then deal with it face-on.

“In my daily interactions with the communities that I serve, I have never had any negative comments towards carrying a Taser, in fact on the contrary, it invokes conversation and comments that the public are reassured to have an officer suitably equipped to deal with the many dangerous situations that arise.”