Bids open for police in Yorkshire to equip more officers with tasers

The Home Office has pledged to ringfence a 10m fund to put more officers carrying tasers on the nation's streets. PA Images.
The Home Office has pledged to ringfence a 10m fund to put more officers carrying tasers on the nation's streets. PA Images.

Bidding is to begin today for crime commissions in Yorkshire to equip more officers with tasers, after a survey found mounting support in parts of the region.

The Home Office has pledged to ringfence a £10m fund to put more officers carrying tasers on the nation's streets, as part of an initiative to give police more powers.

Bidding opens today as forces are invited apply for funding based on threat and risk in individual areas.

“Our brave police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and I am committed to giving them the tools they need keep themselves and the public safe," said Home Secretary Priti Patel.

“The rise in assaults on officers is appalling which is why I am providing funding to equip up to 10,000 more officers with Taser - an important tactical option when facing potentially physically violent situations.”

The Home Office has made a series of announcements over recent months as it pledges to crack down on crime, including a commitment to boost policing ranks with an additioal 20,000 officers.

The latest proposition around taser usage comes just days after a poll in parts of Yorkshire found there was public support for such a move.

A survey by North Yorkshire's crime commissioner Jula Mulligan, completed by 4,000 residents, found many felt arming more police with tasers would make them feel safer.

Some 66 per cent said they would feel safer if every officer were so armed, it emerged in a report published last weej, with 93 per cent stating they trusted officers to use tasers responsibly.

Last year, neighbouring force Durham made tasers available to every frontline officer, while the Police Federation had called for such a move to be rolled out nationwide.

There was some hesitency apparent in the North Yorkshire survey results though when asked if carrying a taser should be mandatory, with a third of respondents stating it should be a matter of officer's choice.

Read more -> North Yorkshire Police could arm more of its officers with tasers