More officers in Northamptonshire will carry tasers, police have revealed

More than 100 further frontline police in Northamptonshire communities are being equipped with Tasers, it has been revealed.

Thursday, 20th April 2017, 9:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:00 pm
A training exercise with Taser.

A national rise in assaults against police officers has prompted the move by Northamptonshire Police to train a further 100 officers to use the electric shock devices.

Now, for the first time in Northamptonshire, Tasers will be given to officers in local policing, frontline response officers and the proactive team.

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “Extending our Taser capability will enable us to respond more quickly and effectively with the appropriate resources needed for a given incident.

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Tasers incapacitate their targets with an electric current.

“Nationally, 64 police officers are assaulted every day. By extending our Taser capability, we will better placed to protect police officers and the wider community in general, from harm.”

Tasers subdue their targets with an electric current and are considered non-lethal.

Currently, there are 388 specialist officers that carry Tasers who work in the tactical support team, the dog section and the roads team.

In 2016, Northamptonshire Police deployed Taser 105 times, but only fired on eight occasions.

Tasers incapacitate their targets with an electric current.

ACC Swann said: “On many occasions, simply the presence of a Taser can calm and resolve a situation without it necessarily being used to combat a violent situation.”

"The Police Federation has been consulted and fully supports the decision to extend the use of Taser to local response officers.

“Evidence elsewhere in the country does not suggest that by simply equipping more officers there is an inevitable and automatic increase in the number of times Tasers are used."

Figures released last week by the Home Office showed that, nationally, there was a fall in the number of times Tasers were discharged.