Yorkshire police force in talks to train more frontline officers in using Tasers

More North Yorkshire Police officers could be issued with tasers.
More North Yorkshire Police officers could be issued with tasers.
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The North Yorkshire Police Federation has confirmed it is in talks with the force's chief officer team regarding an uplift in the number of frontline officers trained in the use of Taser.

The news comes following a rise in the number of assaults on officers across the country and following the murder of PC Andrew Harper in Berkshire last week.

Deputy secretary Brad Jackson made the announcement on the federation's Facebook page.

Mr Jackson said: "We are currently in talks with our chief officer team regarding an uplift in the number of frontline officers trained in the use of Taser.

"Taser has proven to be a valuable piece of equipment for officers faced with difficult and violent situations. It has been well reported in the media when the use of Taser has saved officers from serious injuries or worse, the horrific incident recently in Leyton is a prime example."

PC Stuart Outten, from the Metropolitan Police, was attacked with a machete after he stopped a van driver in east London earlier this month.

He suffered severe head and hand injuries after he stopped a van suspected of having no insurance.

Read more: Police across Yorkshire use Tasers more than 1,000 times in a year, new figures show

Despite receiving the serious injuries, PC Outten managed to Taser the suspect before he was apprehended by arriving officers.

Mr Jackson said: "In the current climate of thinly stretched resources many officers find themselves in situations where assistance isn’t instantly available. Some are regularly single crewed.

"The option of introducing a Taser should not be seen as a luxury but a necessity.

"It should be noted that merely drawing a Taser has an instant impact on the majority of individuals and national statistics show that a discharge does not always follow.

"Our force is very mindful of the public’s opinion to Taser and whether you would support more trained officers within our county.

"Help us to help our officers get the equipment they need to assist them in continuing to police North Yorkshire confidently and effectively.

"Let’s keep them safe so they can keep you safe."

North Yorkshire Police confirmed it is "considering" the number of officers trained in Taser use.

A force spokeswoman said: "The number of Taser trained officers in the force is determined by a number of factors such as the level of threat and risk therefore, training plans and decisions are dynamic and regularly reviewed to ensure the force has the right level of resources in the right places.

"“We are currently in the process of considering the number of Taser trained officers in the force which will involve consultation with key stakeholders including the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, our staff, staff associations, and the public we serve.”