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.”

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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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