Would you like to see more police armed with Tasers in Cleveland? That’s the question being asked by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) ahead of its bid for additional Government funding.
The Home Office recently announced the extra funding to increase in the number of officers carrying Taser, in the wake of a spate of attacks on police officers around the country.
With a pot of £10m available from Home Secretary Priti Patel, the OPCC is seeking residents’ views on arming officers with Taser.
Although the use of Taser is an operational matter determined by the Chief Constable, applying for this funding falls within the remit of Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.
Today (Tuesday 21 January) the OPCC has launched a consultation for both the public and Cleveland Police’s officers, to determine the details of the application and to understand how the public feel about arming additional officers.
The weapon fires two small darts that deliver an electric current designed to incapacitate the subject. Tasers are classed as ‘less-lethal’ firearms as the possibility of serious injury or death still exists, though in rare circumstances.
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “I have always pressed for additional resources for Cleveland Police so I am pleased that the Government is offering funds to allow Cleveland to make an investment in Taser equipment.
“We need to make sure that police officers have the tools they need to keep themselves and the public safe and I believe Cleveland’s residents will welcome additional officers being trained in Taser, should that be a decision the Chief Constable makes.
“To make sure we apply for the appropriate level of funding, I plan to consult, both within the Force and with the wider public, before making a bid to the Home Office.”
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Graham said: “Taser is one of a number of tactical options deployed by our police to protect themselves and members of the community. Nationally, the number of officers in a force who are trained and equipped with Taser is a decision for individual Chief Constables based upon an assessment of local threat and risk.
“In Cleveland Police we are currently increasing our numbers in line with this assessment and will keep this under review. We will be submitting a bid to the Home office to support this.”
The survey can be accessed at the following link https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/V7HIE/ and is open until Sunday 2nd February 2020.
Posted on Tuesday 21st January 2020