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Taser use is a success in North Yorkshire

Taser use is a success in North Yorkshire

6:52am 2nd November 2010
(Updated 2:13pm 2nd November 2010)

Extended taser success for North Yorkshire Police

A report into North Yorkshire Police’s roll-out of taser weapons to non-firearms officers has revealed the success of the scheme.

Since their use was extended to specially trained officers on 15 May this year, figures for injuries to officers involved in violent arrests have fallen to the lowest level for five years.

The results for the first three months of the roll-out show tasers were drawn at 40 incidents across North Yorkshire, with six of those resulting in the taser being fired at the subject. No-one suffered any long-lasting effects or injuries. 

Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, said: “We are very pleased with the findings of the report which reveals the effectiveness of taser in resolving violent incidents. The low rate of actual discharge demonstrates our officers’ professionalism and restraint in what are often very challenging situations.

“Using taser has resulted in swifter and safer conclusions to confrontational incidents which could otherwise have resulted in physical contact and potential injuries to both officers, offenders and members of the public. It also means less officer time is lost through injury and recovery.

“In many situations, the sight or threat of a taser is enough to resolve a situation. This is demonstrated by the figures showing that a taser is fired at only one in nine incidents where it is authorised.”

The report also reveals that the deployment of the tasers were proportionate and appropriate and no confusion arose over whether to deploy traditional firearms or taser. Officers’ confidence in dealing with confrontational incidents has also increased as a result.

ACC Madgwick added: “Tasers are deployed to violent or potentially violent situations to protect members of the public, the subject and police officers.

“Police hope any violent incident will be resolved through communication and on many occasions this is the case. But in some instances, officers need to take further action to prevent harm and get the situation under control quickly and safely.”

The use of a taser is one of a number of tactical options available to an officer who is faced with violence or the threat of violence.

Previously only Authorised Firearms Officers were trained in the use of taser. North Yorkshire Police now have specially trained officers across the force trained in the use of taser.

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