Tasers 'not a panacea' - concerns at Police Federation vote
In response to the vote by the Police Federation last night which called for all frontline uniformed officers to be offered a Taser, Amnesty International called for scrutiny of evidence to support this move.
Amnesty International UK’s Arms Programme Director Oliver Sprague said:
“Where’s the evidence to support the claim that arming all officers with Tasers would realistically counter terrorist attacks?
“Or indeed a detailed risk assessment which concludes that a move to fully arm all officers with Tasers is proportionate and necessary, given that the UK already has specialist armed teams and large numbers of Taser-carrying officers?
“Would a Taser ever be a useful tool against a real instance of terrorist activity?
“Tasers are not a panacea. They are potentially lethal weapons which should be used only in specific circumstances where there’s a clear risk of death or serious injury.
“Amnesty has always argued that they can be a valuable tool, but they must be very tightly controlled and should be used only by specialist officers and in specific circumstances where there’s a clear risk of death or serious injury.
“Rather than using the threat of ‘terror’ to win their call for arming all officers with Tasers, the Police Federation should redouble their efforts in ensuring that the large number of officers who already have Tasers use this weapon in a responsible and appropriate manner at all times.”