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21 February 2018
Probationer Police Officers could soon be carrying Tasers.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council is supporting proposals to allow selected probationers to carry the less-lethal weapons, once they have completed a selection and training process.
NPCC bosses say that the option to arm should be made available to individual Chief Constables who will have the final say in who, and how many, probationers will be trained in Taser use.
Probationers will have to apply for training and be able to demonstrate the same level of conflict management expertise as regular officers. However, an officer’s ability, rather than time in the job will be the determining factor.
"Probationers are posted to the frontline and they respond to the same calls as other colleagues,” explains National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Less Lethal Weapons Deputy Assessment Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi.
“These calls range from dealing with vulnerable people in need of help to incidents of violence. We want to ensure that they have the right equipment to keep themselves, suspects and members of the public safe.
“At present, an officer’s suitability to carry Taser is determined by the amount of time someone has been an officer rather than the role they carry out or the skills they have.
“Many of our probationers have professional and life skills from before they started their police career that demonstrate their capability and ability to carry Taser. Compared to other options such as the baton its use is safer for officers and the public.”
The use of Taser can be emotive she added, and said that the NPCC would continue to work with community groups and medical experts to monitor its use.