Crime Politics

Should Gloucestershire police be carrying more tasers?

Police in Gloucestershire have applied to get the funding from parliament for 30 more tasers, and money towards training a number of staff on how to use the equipment.

The bid comes after an increased amount of assaults against police officers.

Home secretary, Priti Patel intends to put more officers carrying tasers on the streets through a £10 million “ring-fenced” fund which aims to allow police to better protect themselves.

In England and Wales, there are currently around 17,000 Taser-trained police out of 123,000 officers.

But the use of the weapons is controversial.

According to Amnesty International, 18 people have been killed after being tasered in the UK since they were introduced in 2004.

A petition demanding all police officers in the UK to carry tasers has 95,000 signatures.

Oliver Feeley-Sprague, Amnesty UK’s police and security programme director told the BBC: “We recognise that Tasers can play a part in modern policing and have been proven to be effective as a distance control weapon in response to threats of serious harm. However, using them is not risk-free.”

Black people are over represented in taser statistics. In more than 12% of those cases the Tasers were used against black people, who make up about 4% of the population.

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