National Taser survey for serving officers

15 December 2016

A police officer wearing a Taser

A national survey has been launched in order to seek views from officers on the use of Taser, which is a less lethal option than more conventional firearms.  

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has long supported a police officer’s right to carry Taser if they so wish, with a previous survey carried out earlier this year saying that 43 per cent of officers without access to the device wanted it. The use of Taser is ever-growing, with Lincolnshire Police this week becoming the first force to agree to train half of their serving officers in using it.

This national officer survey follows on from a public survey, carried out by Ipsos Mori, which showed that 71 per cent of respondents consider it acceptable for police officers to carry Taser when on patrol. PFEW has always insisted that while it supports a wider roll-out of Taser, officers should be able to choose whether or not they carry it. It has proven to be a useful tool for those officers who do carry it, with there being no need to actually fire the device in 80 per cent of the cases where it has been drawn, protecting both communities and officers themselves.

PFEW Chair Steve White said: “We believe that officers need to have access to the right kit to help protect themselves. We will continue to lobby the government to make funding available if a chief constable sanctions the use of Taser for those officers who want it.

“This national survey gives us a great opportunity to strengthen our position, which remains that any officer who wants access to this piece of equipment should have it.”

The survey, the only national one of its kind, runs until 20 January.