By Kelly-Louise Johnson Thursday 19 September 2013 Updated: 19/09 20:49
THE USE of tasers by West Mercia Police officers is falling according to the Home Office.
Statistics released this week revealed on average between 2009 and 2011 tasers had only been fired by officers in a quarter of the situations in which they were issued.
In 2009 tasers were deployed 142 times but only fired on 40 occasions while in 2010 they were issued 154 times but only fired in 52 cases. In 2011 the devices were used 127 times but were only fired on 28 occasions.
Year on year the number of times a taser has been discharged has fallen from 28 per cent to 22 per cent.
Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, responsible for overseeing the use of the device across the force and also the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) lead for taser, called the figures reassuring.
“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.
“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 by making taser 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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