2 November 2020
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton says a decision to allow officers with Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) to apply for Taser training could help protect lives.
The College of Policing is establishing a new training and assessment process which means officers with CVD - whose vision falls below national standards and were previously excluded from Taser training - will now be assessed using a Taser fixed sight.
It follows successful lobbying by the Federation which challenged the college's original CVD Taser training standards on the grounds they were unfair and discriminatory. Fed reps argued it was putting officers at risk of being assaulted on duty.
Tony said: “The original decision by the college was unfair and threatened to disadvantage our colleagues with CVD. They would still face the same dangerous situations as their colleagues without CVD but wouldn’t have the same equipment to protect themselves, their colleagues and the communities they serve.
“We’ve seen how effective Taser is in dealing with potentially dangerous situations, and it’s important that those officers who want to use it are trained and supported in its use, including our colleagues with CVD.
“This move will mean that those officers will be better able to protect themselves and the public, and is to be welcomed.”
In August, the Home Office also approved the new Taser 7, which uses a green laser and is suitable for officers with certain types of CVD - which affects one in 12 men and one in 200 women.
Steve Hartshorn, firearms and Taser lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), said: “The Federation has been involved in actively challenging the College of Policing’s previous position. This was not fair, valid or reliable, and we have been seeking a positive resolution.
“The new training and assessment process will allow officers with CVD to apply for Taser training and to be deployed operationally if successful. The college’s decision to change policy is an important step forward for those officers with CVD and for the protection of themselves and the public.
“The college’s revised process will be reviewed over time to ensure it remains current and fit for purpose. PFEW - via its network of local Federation reps - will be involved in that process.”