The Met Police today announced plans to start deploying tasers to non-firearms trained officers as of Monday. They are the last of ten forces around the UK to take part in this pilot scheme set up by the Home Office which began on 1st September.
The Home Secretarys eagerness to push ahead with Tasers for more officers seems to be at odds with the growing climate of caution of use for them around the world.
Many of us saw the footage on YouTube of the Polish man who died after being shot by a Taser while waiting for his mother in Vancouver airport.
And just last month we read how a man in Leeds fell into a diabetic coma after being shot by a Taser stun gun. Its clear that Tasers are potentially lethal weapons and theyre extremely dangerous. In fact a recent UN report concluded that Tasers could be used to conduct torture.
Theres definitely good reason for Amnesty to insist that Tasers should only be used in limited circumstances and by Specialist Firearms Officers.
On a totally different note, tomorrow marks the anniversary of John Lennons death where he was shot dead in his New York apartment 27 years ago. Incredible to believe that even though it was so long ago, his name and music lives on. (How many of you have already started humming Imagine?).
As a result were busy between interviews expressing our concern on Tasers and interviews about Amnesty Internationals new CD gift set called Instant Karma a compilation of Lennons music performed by artists such as U2. Green Day, Black Eyed Peas and other top names with profits going to Amnestys work.
The gift set is selling fast at Selfridges and at www.amnestyshop.org.uk so if youre in need of a stocking filler and you know people who like Lennons music, get one before they all sell out!
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.