Police taser gun use doubles

The use of tasers by Nottingham Police has more than doubled in the past five years new figures have revealed.

The police electro-shock weapons were used 103 times in the 12 months from July 2013-2014 compared to 51 times when they were introduced to specially trained units in 2009.

Statistics revealed by the Home Office reveal tasers were actually fired 10 times.

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Subjects were ‘red dotted’ 22 times and cases where the weapon was drawn for potential use accounted for 13.

The devices were aimed once and arced once without being used.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said the decision to deploy tasers was never taken lightly.

He said: “Unfortunately, it is necessary to use them on very rare occasions.

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“However, the prospect of having a taser fired is usually enough to persuade an unruly or even violent individual to comply with our request to calm down.

“Our officers are trained to a very high standard and we have clear written policies and procedures for the use of taser.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of members of the public and to do that effectively we also need to ensure the safety of our officers.

“We also aim to prevent the subject causing harm to themselves.”

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Figures released by the Home Office showed stark differences in the number of times the weapons were used, relative to the size of the force.

A detailed breakdown of figures in the first six months of this year showed the weapons were used twice for every 100 officers in Nottinghamshire.

In Staffordshire they were used 10 times per 100 officers and in Humberside 11.

Amnesty International UK said it was difficult to tell from the numbers whether tasers are being used appropriately by the force.

Oliver Sprague, arms programme director, said: “Tasers are potentially lethal, so should be used only in life-threatening instances, or of very serious injury.”