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29 October 2020
Successful PFEW lobbying has resulted in a College of Policing U-Turn which will allow officers with Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) to apply for Taser training.
The College’s decision to establish a new training and assessment process 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.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) challenged the College over its 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.
Reacting to the news, Steve Hartshorn, PFEW Firearms and Taser lead, 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.
“My colleagues with CVD face the same dangers as those without it. Denying them the opportunity to carry this essential piece of equipment was putting both their lives and the public’s lives at risk.
“Taser is an extremely effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations that our officers face on the streets.
“It 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.
“The College’s revised process will be reviewed over time to ensure it remains current and fit for purpose. PFEW - via our network of local Federation reps - will be involved in that process.”
In August, the Home Office also approved the new Taser 7, which utilises a green laser and is suitable for officers with certain types of CVD - which affects one in 12 men and one in 200 women.