Express & Star

Police federation welcomes plans to increase investment in new Taser for officers

The Staffordshire Police Federation has welcomed reports that the Government is planning to announce a £75 million investment in new-generation Tasers.

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Home Secretary Suella Braverman is expected to unveil a £75 million investment in new-generation Tasers.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is expected to unveil the plan at the Conservative Party Conference next month.

However, a report in the Sunday Mirror said the new equipment would be given to officers from next March once they are approved for use in the UK.

The new Taser 10 has been described as a “game-changer”, playing a loud digital “sci-fi” sound effect when discharged instead of the natural electrical sound of existing models.

The Home Office is understood to have signed a four-year procurement deal with manufacturer Axon.

Staffordshire Police Federation chair Lee Robinson said he wanted to see the new Tasers rolled out as soon as possible.

He said: “I had the opportunity to see, handle and test fire the new Taser 10 at the Police Federation last week and it is an impressive piece of kit.

“It will help to keep my colleagues and the public safer from harm so I very much welcome this announcement. Its roll out can’t come soon enough.”

Lee believes all officers who want to carry Taser should be given the training and resources to do so. He said: “Taser is an important piece of equipment for the safety of officers and frontline staff.

“Being a Taser officer involves enhanced training, discipline, decision making and is voluntary. Our members deserve the best equipment available in order to protect themselves and the public.”

“I maintain my view that all frontline officers that want to carry Taser, and are able to pass the national qualifying course, should be able to carry the device.

“I urge chief constables across the country to make this happen with this announcement from the Government.”

Last month, the chair of the West Midlands Police Federation, Sergeant Richard Cooke, told the Express & Star that all police officers should be given Tasers to lessen the risk of them being assaulted.

It came after five police officers were assaulted in the Black Country in less than a week, with three punched in the face and one in the throat, while another was pushed into a glass window.

Government statistics show that West Midlands Police was the second most assaulted force in the country in the year ending March 2022.

Sergeant Cooke said: "Unfortunately, this is what we are seeing across the force, police officers are being targeted increasingly by violent criminals and it does have an effect.

"It's not just a physical effect, often the mental effect is a far worse trauma. It takes a long time to get over.

"Wearing a Taser makes an officer nine times less likely to be assaulted. We think it's a no-brainer."

Superintendent Martin Hurcomb, the West Midlands Police force lead for Taser, added: "There’s nothing more important to us than the safety of our people and the safety of the public.

"Taser is a really useful tool amongst a variety of options that help officers to stay safe and to keep people safe.

"The use of Taser is regulated by strict standards and is issued to our officers following a rigorous training programme.

Tasers were first used by British police officers in 2003.