Greater availability of the less-lethal weapon could mean the difference between life and death, says staff association.
More officers should be issued with Taser to bolster their safety as budget cuts bite and there are less boots on the ground, the Police Federation has said.
According to Paul Davies, the staff association’s Lead on Safety and Firearms, greater availability of the less-lethal weapons “could mean the difference between life and death” as officers continue put themselves in harm’s way.
He pointed out that more than 5,000 warranted officers had already disappeared from the ranks – and with thousands more vanishing in the months ahead, he said those at the sharp end needed to be better protected.
As previously reported on PoliceOracle.com, a new variant of the Taser – the X2 – is being tested by the Home Office although it is at least a year away from introduction.
But Mr Davies said that the current X26 model was already available in sufficient numbers for its availability to be extended to more front-line officers.
He added: “Police officers are asked to put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis to protect the public, and of course officers are members of the public too.
“At a time when 5,200 officers have disappeared from our streets, and when 12,000 more are expected to face the axe, it seems ludicrous not to give those who remain the basic tools that could mean the difference between life and death.
Mr Davies emphasised: "Of course, no amount of equipment can ever replace fully warranted feet on the beat, but at the very least, we'd like to know that everything that can be done is being done to protect police officers.”
DCC Simon Chesterman, the ACPO Lead on Firearms, told PoliceOracle.com that he was aware that the Fed had been pushing for a greater roll-out of Taser.
The chief officer added: “Taser provides a less-lethal option and has been proven to reduce the numbers of assaults on officers – it is very effective tool.
“I would like to see forces considering the level of threat and risk facing their officers and ensuring that they have a reasonable level of Taser coverage.”
I'm all for more tasers in light of less officers - obviously I want to see more officers on the street - but thats not likely to happen any time soon!
Edited by Hades, 14 June 2012 - 05:16 PM.