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Tasers: 50,000 volts x 10,000 stun guns x 30,000 officers

Last week I demonstrated unusual prescience when I warned on this blog that UK policing urgently risked a slippery slope towards ever-increasing Taser deployment.

On Monday the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will announce that up to 30,000 police officers in England and Wales will be given the go-ahead to fire the electro-shock devices, with £8 million being made available to purchase some 10,000 Tasers.

In Scotland, meanwhile, any wider roll-out is opposed by the SNP government, and in Northern Ireland the decision by Sir Hugh Orde, the PSNI Chief Constable, to introduce Tasers, is being judicially challenged in a case to be heard in January. 
I need do more than refer my honourable readers to the comments I made previously, while my colleague, arms expert Oliver Sprague, has been quick off the mark today with a formal response from Amnesty:

“We believe the Home Secretary should urgently review this decision and ensure that Tasers only end up in the hands of a small number of fully-trained officers capable of making the potentially fatal decision over whether to fire 50,000 volts into a person’s body.”

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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