Second police force to equip frontline officers with Tasers

Two UK police forces are issuing Tasers to officers

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Durham Police has become the second force in the country to offer Tasers to all frontline officers amid concerns over the risks of modern policing.

Chief constable Jo Farrell said her staff will be issued with new X2 Tasers if they want one, and they will undergo training on using the non-lethal weapons.

It follows the same move by Northamptonshire Police, where chief constable Nick Adderley said the risks his officers were facing had risen "dramatically".

A Taser works by delivering an electric charge to its target, leaving a suspect temporarily incapacitated so they can be restrained.

Ms Farrell, who has led Durham Police since June, said: "Sadly, there are situations in which police officers need to take immediate action to subdue violent suspects to protect the public.

"Tasers allow us to do so swiftly and safely, without causing lasting injury and are an extremely effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations officers find themselves in.

"Too often our officers are subject to assaults in the line of duty, simply for doing their job.”

When Durham Police brought in X26 Tasers in 2005, they were only issued to a handful of authorised firearms officers.

Over the next year they will introduce the new X2 model which is more powerful and can fire a second cartridge if the first misses.

The national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, supported giving officers the option to carry a Taser.

He said: "Officer safety should never come second to balancing the books."

Earlier this month, Pc Stuart Outten was attacked with a machete in east London but managed to Taser his attacker.

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