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24 August 2020
The announcement police officers can be equipped with a more effective Taser following the approval of a new model by the Home Secretary has been welcomed by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW).
Taser 7, which is more accurate, faster and compact than previous models, is now available to all 43 forces. It will also reduce costs for forces by replacing disposable batteries with rechargeable ones.
Reacting to the news, PFEW National Vice-Chair Ché Donald said: “We have always said Taser is a vital piece of equipment which keeps both the public and officers on the frontline safe.
“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.”
In September 2019 the Government announced a £10 million ring-fenced fund to significantly increase the number of officers carrying Taser.
Chief Constables will decide how many officers in their forces 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, whilst forces will be required to complete an additional record every time a Taser 7 device is used, to monitor the effects and performance of the device.
Mr Donald continued: “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% of cases, simply drawing the Taser from its holster de-escalates many situations safely, preventing a physical interaction.
“The T7 is a more modern, effective and safer device so the Home Secretary’s announcement is very welcome news,” he concluded.