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Proportionate approach to the number of Taser trained officers

22 Jan 2016

We have agreed that the current threat and risk picture in the UK does not justify a roll out of Taser to all officers who volunteer at this time. However, chief constables make the operational decisions in their force areas and can increase the number of Taser-trained officers if their strategic threat and risk assessments show there is a need.

National Police Chiefs' Lead for Less Lethal Weapons, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said:

"Chief constables have considered a wider roll out of Tasers to officers across the UK. Chiefs discussed the operational requirements for Taser and calls from the Police Federation for all officers who want a Taser to be given one.

"We have agreed that the current threat and risk picture in the UK does not justify a roll out of Taser to all officers who volunteer at this time; a roll out of this kind could challenge the UK policing model and the principle of policing by consent. However, chief constables make the operational decisions in their force areas and can increase the number of Taser-trained officers if their strategic threat and risk assessments show there is a need.

"Chiefs agreed that any such increase in the future would take place in line with current best practice. Our world class training will not be diluted, increased numbers will be based on an auditable threat and risk assessment that proves they are needed and PCCs, other interested parties and communities will be informed and the impact on communities considered. We'll also ensure that we maintain the quality of our recording and monitoring of Taser use. Although Taser will not yet be made available to probationary constables or members of the Special Constabulary, we have asked the College of Policing to review this decision.

"This is a proportionate approach that will be based on evidence-based assessments of risk at the local level. It aims to ensure that officers who are shown to have an operational requirement for a Taser have access to one while maintaining public confidence that we will enforce the law and keep people safe with the minimum use of force."

Further information – This discussion and decision took place at NPCC Chief Constables Council meeting on January 20 2016.