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13 March 2019
Established front-line police officers need to be trained in the use of Taser and issued with the devices before any roll-out to student officers.
That is the view of West Midlands Police Federation chair Rich Cooke who was responding to a statement from police minister Nick Hurd on the decision to allow student officers access to Taser.
Rich explained: “We want all our front-line, and potentially custody, officers to have Taser. However, only around 40 per cent of officers will actually be issued with one after the present uplift within the Force. So, this Government decision is rather academic.
“We need our established officers to be trained in the use of Taser and issued with them before we can even think about getting our student officers trained.
“Fundamentally, I see no reason why student officers shouldn’t be trained to use Taser but, as with so many other things, it’s a question of priorities particularly when police chiefs are struggling to match reduced resources with increased demand due to the Government’s cuts programme.”
The decision to allow student officers access to Taser has been hailed as a ‘victory for our members and for common sense’ by the national chair of the Police Federation, John Apter.
A package for training student officers has been drawn up by the College of Policing but chief constables will decide if their student officers will be given access to Taser.