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Use of tasers by West Mercia Police falls
10:10am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
STATISTICS showing officers with West Mercia Police fired tasers in only a quarter of situations in which they were deployed have been welcomed.
Figures released by the Home Office show tasers were deployed 127 times from January 2011 to December 2011 but only fired on 28 occasions.
They were fired 52 times out of 154 deployments in 2010 and 40 out of 142 times the previous year.
West Mercia Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman is responsible for the use of the device across the force and is also the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) lead for tasers.
He said: “Not only is this in line with the national average, but it also shows that on average, tasers are rarely fired and their presence is often enough to resolve conflict in 75 per cent of cases.
“In fact, the number of times it has been discharged in West Mercia has actually consistently fallen year on year from 28 per cent to 22 per cent.
“This downward trend is very reassuring and I believe is a reflection of the extensive and consistent training which our officers undertake to handle the device."
He added: “Taser use is subject to a high degree of oversight and scrutiny and all uses are recorded and reported to the Home Office. It can only be used by officers who have been selected and provided with training in the use of the weapon.
“As West Mercia Police is currently in the process of training around 60 more officers to use tasers, we would expect to perhaps see a slight rise in our usage in any future figures but for the number of times it is discharged to remain constant.
“However, it is anticipated that by making tasers more widely available, we will be able to offer the public more protection from violent individuals who seek to cause them harm.”
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