Monday, 17 August 2009

Taser use to tackle violence up

New figures released today by the Home Office reveal the use and discharge of Tasers against violent criminals has increased as more specially trained units take to the streets

Statistics for the first quarter of 2009 are the first published since all police forces were authorised to give Tasers to non-firearms officers specially-trained to use the devices.

This followed a successful 12-month trial in ten forces across the country last year.

The new figures reveal the devices were used 250 times by specially trained units in the last quarter, up from 187 in the previous quarter. The units discharged them 62 times in the three months to April, compared to 35 in the last three months of 2008.

Specially trained units have now used Tasers 1,098 times since the trial began in September 2007. They were discharged 190 times.

Policing, Crime and Security Minister David Hanson MP said:

"I am determined to give police all the tools they need to crack down on violent crime. Tasers are a vital tool for our frontline officers and that is why we allowed forces to issue them to specially-trained units.

“They are making a real difference on our streets and helping to keep both the public and our police officers safe.

“Tasers have helped defuse dangerous situations where people could have been seriously injured or even killed. And often just the threat of the device is enough. On many occasions, drawing or aiming a Taser has proved enough of a deterrent.”

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