Northamptonshire Police: More officers given Taser guns

Taser being fired Image copyright PA
Image caption Tasers fire two small dart-like electric conductors before delivering a high-voltage shock to temporarily disable a suspect

Neighbourhood police officers will be given stun guns as part of a force's plans to tackle knife crime.

Northamptonshire Police is to train 50 extra officers on how to use a Taser, bringing the total number to 226.

The stun gun fires two electric conductors followed by a high-voltage shock to temporarily disable a suspect.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the decision made "complete sense" in light of a rise in knife crime nationally.

Currently only specialist, frontline response and proactive officers in the county can deploy a Taser, but for the first time, neighbourhood and rural teams will now also be able to use it. The Police Federation was consulted on the plans.

According to Northamptonshire Police figures, between September 2017 and October 2018, the force used a Taser 317 times, and on suspects for 21 of those occasions.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: "Nationally and locally there has been an increase in knife related crime.

"It therefore makes complete sense that the officers that are out in the communities are equipped and able to respond to incidents quickly and effectively. Extending Taser capability allows us to do that.

"Taser is only one of many tools and tactics available to an officer to help manage threat and risk. For those equipped with Taser, it won't always be the first or most viable solution to a situation."

The Police and Crime Commissioner's office provided £67,000 of funding to pay for the increase in Taser capability.

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