North Wales Police announce plans to train a further 100 officers to use Taser
The number of officers in North Wales Police trained to use Taser is set to increase by an extra 100 across the region.
The move means that 400 of the force’s 1,450 officers will regularly carry or have ready access to the Home Office approved device.
Arfon Jones, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner is funding £136,000 which will be spent on training and equipment – including an additional 200 of the new X2 Taser devices.
Each officer selected to undergo training will go through a rigorous assessment process, in line with national guidelines, to ensure that they are suitable to carry the device.
Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said that the use of Taser means officers will be “better equipped to protect the public and themselves”.
He continued: “It is often the case that just having a Taser officer present can diffuse a threatening situation without them actually having to use it or get involved in a physical confrontation.
“The use of Taser means my officers will be better equipped to protect the public and themselves whilst also removing pressure from our firearms officers and ensuring we can respond more quickly and effectively with the appropriate resources.
“We have been in close consultation with the Police and Crime Commissioner and the North Wales Police Federation and have received unilateral support from both for the decision to better protect the public and our front line staff.
“We will now begin the selection process for 100 uniformed officers to be trained to carry Taser. Following their training they will be deployed to various departments across the region, helping to keep their colleagues and the public safe.”
Arfon Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Police officers need the tools to keep themselves and the public safe. We are pleased that we will soon be able to offer the public, as well as the officers, more protection from violent individuals who seek to cause them harm by increasing our Taser capability through the roll-out of these additional 100 officers.
“I will continue to monitor Taser use by North Wales Police, with particular emphasis on the results of this increased availability, to ensure that any and every use of Taser is justifiable, proportionate, lawful and necessary.”
Mark Jones, General Secretary, North Wales Police Federation said the organisation welcome the move to increase Taser training.
“The decision by the Chief Constable and Police & Crime Commissioner to further increase the number of Taser trained officers in North Wales is very much welcomed by the Police Federation,” said Mark.
“We tirelessly campaign to make sure our members are given all the protection they need to do their jobs. The police force expects officers to get involved in dangerous situations every single day to protect the public therefore it is only right and proper that officers are given the tools for the job.
“The Police Federation believes that every police officer who wishes to be equipped with a Taser should be afforded that opportunity.
“Whilst I completely understand the financial constraints for the force, this significant investment will go a long way to achieving our position where officers are better equipped and better protected.”
What is a Taser?
A device used by specially trained police officers in appropriate circumstances which passes short pulses of electricity into the body rendering muscles to contract.
During or shortly after the use of the Taser, symptoms can include:
· Unsteadiness and a spinning sensation, feeling dazed for several minutes.
· Muscle twitches
· Loss of memory of the event
· Temporary tingling & possible localised pain or discomfort.
· Weakness in the limbs
· Small sunburn type marks where Taser made contact some swelling
Details released by North Wales Police say that “these are normal effects caused by the use of Taser and should return to normal. If any of these effects are still present days later, the person needs to see a doctor.”
When Taser is used, a report providing details of the incident is recorded along with a review by an officer of at least Inspector rank. Anyone subjected to Taser by the police will be seen by a doctor.
Further information regarding the use of Taser is available here.
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