Lancashire Police cleared over strip-search Taser use

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Police were justified in Tasering two men who refused to take off their boxer shorts while being strip-searched, the police watchdog has said.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) also expressed concerns about Taser use in police station cells by Lancashire Police.

The men had complained about separate incidents in the custody suite at Burnley police station in 2012.

The IPCC raised concerns about use of the stun guns in confined spaces.

A 26-year-old man complained about his treatment at Burnley police station after his arrest in July 2012 while a 20-year-old man complained about an incident at the same station, two months later in September 2012.

'Inappropriate comments'

Officers said they feared in both cases the men could become violent after refusing to take off their boxer shorts while being searched.

James Dipple-Johnstone, the IPCC Commissioner for Lancashire, said: "Although our investigations found that in both instances use of Taser could be justified, there are areas for Lancashire Constabulary to address.

"The IPCC has a number of concerns about the use of Taser, including when it is used in confined spaces like police cells, where we believe it should only be used in exceptional circumstances."

The IPCC said an inspector should face a misconduct hearing for not properly recording his decision-making rationale to authorise use of Taser, nor properly carrying out a post-incident procedure in the September case.

The IPCC also expressed concern about "inappropriate comments" made by police officers both before and after Taser had been discharged.

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