Plans to extend use of tasers in Cambridgeshire due for discussion next week

POLICE want to increase their use of tasers when officers are facing threatening situations – and they plan to train another 120 specialist officers to use them.

Members of Cambridgeshire Police Authority are set to discuss the plans at their Finance and Resources Committee meeting next Wednesday after considering a report on the use of 150 tasers bought with a Home Office grant three years ago.

The taser is a device designed to temporarily incapacitate a subject through the use of an electrical current. The effect only lasts for as long as the charge is applied.

Both Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Constabularies have already trained non-firearms officers in the use of tasers.

Chief constable Simon Parr said: “The rules governing the use of taser will remain unchanged and the processes for the selection and training of specialist officers to use this device will continue to be to the same high standards we have always used.

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“Extending the use of taser to more specially trained officers means it can be made available more quickly when it is needed to protect the safety of the public.

“It can only be used where officers are facing violence or threats of violence of such severity that they need to use force to protect the public and themselves.

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“It is not a replacement for existing options and will be used alongside negotiation, batons, incapacitant sprays and police dogs to resolve incidents peacefully.”

Ruth Rogers, police authority chairman, said she expected it would be an “interesting and lively discussion”.

She said: “We have been told that the very threat of them can be deterrent enough.”

l What do you think? If you have a view on the use of tasers the Police Authority would like to hear from you before the meeting. E-mail or write to Cambridgeshire Police Authority, Hinchingbrooke Park, Huntingdon, PE29 6NP or follow @CambsPA on Twitter.

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