Dementia patient tasered by police alarming says charity

The tasering by police of a North Lincolnshire dementia sufferer after he became violent has been described as "alarming" by a charity.

The 59-year-old was shot with a stun gun on 6 March in Epworth, a report by Humberside Police Authority revealed.

Two officers physically struggled with the man.

The Alzheimer's Society said the incident showed "a lack of understanding in society" of dementia. Police have defended their actions.

The 59-year-old farmer was "suffering from a rapid onset of Alzheimer's disease" at the time of the incident, the report stated.

'Very sad'

Two officers suffered minor injuries after the farmer ripped out the Taser barbed darts and had to be physically restrained until more officers arrived at the scene.

Sarah Moody, from the Alzheimer's Society, said: "The Alzheimer's Society is very alarmed at the use of a Taser gun on a vulnerable person with early onset dementia, which must have been a particularly distressing experience for the gentleman concerned.

"People with dementia can sometimes exhibit extreme agitation which can be difficult to understand and cope with for those who encounter it.

"This unfortunate incident illustrates a lack of understanding in society of dementia and the best way to support and help people who are affected by this devastating condition."

The report, which outlines Humberside Police's activity across the force, will be put forward to the Authority's policing committee at a meeting on 15 May.

Chief Supt David Eldritch, from Humberside Police, said: "It's very sad that this gentleman had to be restrained through the use of a Taser but the officers were faced with a significant level of violence.

"It is to their credit that they successfully restrained the 59-year-old man without injury to himself and took him to a place of safety to be treated."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites