25 August 2020
The Home Secretary’s announcement that police officers are to be equipped with a new model of Taser has been welcomed by Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton.
Priti Patel has approved the more accurate, faster and compact Taser 7 for use by all 43 forces in England and Wales.
Tony said: “This is a welcome decision by the Home Secretary on a number of levels. Taser is an important piece of equipment and has been used to protect many officers and members of the public.
“We’ve long campaigned for all officers who want to carry Taser to be trained in their use and equipped with the devices.
“Naturally, we would always want our members kitted out with the latest and most effective equipment and the new Taser is a more modern, effective and safer device which will help them effectively protect themselves and their communities.
“And, with the latest model having rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones, there’s a cost saving element to it as well.”
National Federation vice-chair Ché Donald has also welcomed the news, which was announced yesterday.
He said: “Policing is tough and more of my colleagues are being assaulted so it’s essential they are given the best training, the best equipment and the support they need to do their job.
“Having access to Taser with the option to carry one if they wish to do so and pass the required training is part of that.”
Ché added: “Taser is an extremely effective means of dealing with many dangerous situations that our officers face on the streets and is a less lethal option in comparison to conventional firearms.
“In 85 per cent of cases, simply drawing the Taser from its holster de-escalates many situations safely, preventing a physical interaction.”
In September last year, the Government announced £10 million in ring-fenced funding to significantly increase the number of officers carrying Taser.
Chief constables will decide how many officers can carry the new devices based on strategic assessments of threats and risks in their force areas.
Officers who want to use the new device will receive updated training and guidance, while forces will need to complete an extra record every time a Taser 7 is used to monitor the effects and performance of the device.