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GMP Federation

83% of GMP officers want Taser 'on every shift'

5 July 2018

Greater Manchester Police officers want better access to Taser with 83% saying they want the kit made available to them for every shift.

Just 26% of the 1,443 Greater Manchester Police Federation members who responded to the Police Federation of England and Wales survey, and for whom the use of Taser would be appropriate, said that they currently had this level of access.

Most Greater Manchester Police officers (62%) would also be prepared to carry a gun on duty.

The survey revealed that 82% of GMP officers (for whom it is applicable to their role), currently had access to Body Worn Video at all times whilst on duty – 86% said they wanted to have it available for every shift.

Nationally across England and Wales just 22% of officers have access to Taser at all times on duty.

The PFEW wants that figure needs to be higher.

It argues that the non-lethal weapon should be made part of officers’ everyday equipment as it affords them better protection against assaults.

PFEW figures show that just drawing Taser can be enough to prevent attacks on officers, due to the strong deterrent it provides.

PFEW Vice Chair Che Donald said the Greater Manchester results reflected the views of officers across the country.

“Nationally, 75% of officers to whom Taser would be appropriate want better access to it,” he said.

“While more than half of officers have said their life has been put in serious danger on the frontline.”

“So, it’s no surprise that most officers who took part in this survey said they want access to Taser at all times.

“It is imperative that officers are afforded the best possible training and equipment to keep themselves safe and Taser is an extremely effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations that officers often face and it is, of course, a less lethal option than more conventional firearms.

“In 80% of cases where Taser is drawn, it is not fired as the deterrent is enough, which helps protect communities as well as protecting officers from assaults.”

He also called on forces to ensure officer safety was put ahead of budget concerns.

“While there are many forces supportive of wider roll out, owing to financial constraints they are unable to,” he said.

“The protection of both our officers and the public should never be compromised because forces can’t afford to keep them safe.”

Getting better access to Taser and other vital safety equipment is part of the PFEW’s Protect the Protector’s Campaign.

To view the Greater Manchester Police Federation survey results visit:
http://www.polfed.org/documents/GMP%20Routine%20arming%20report%20%20(not%20protectively%20marked)%20-%2012-04-18-%20v.1.pdf

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July 2018
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