“THE T7 is a more modern, effective and safer device,” the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has said, as the Home Secretary approves the new-model Taser’s use.
Taser 7 is faster and more accurate and compact than previous models and will reduce costs for forces by using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Once it is procured by forces, officers could start training with the new model within weeks.
PFEW National Vice-Chair Ché Donald said: “We have always said Taser is a vital piece of equipment which keeps both the public and officers on the frontline safe.
“Policing is tough and more of my colleagues are being assaulted so it’s essential they are given the best training, the best equipment and the support they need to do their job.
Having access to Taser, with the option to carry one if they wish to do so and pass the required training, is part of that.
“Taser is an extremely effective means of dealing with many dangerous situations that our officers face on the streets and is a less lethal option in comparison to conventional firearms. In 85% of cases, simply drawing the Taser from its holster de-escalates many situations safely, preventing a physical interaction.
“The T7 is a more modern, effective and safer device, so the Home Secretary’s announcement is very welcome news.”
Taser 7 has passed rigorous independent scientific and technical assessments.
Last year the Government announced a £10 million fund to increase the number of officers carrying Taser. Officers who want to use the new device will receive updated training and guidance. Forces will also be required to complete an additional record every time a Taser 7 device is used, to monitor its effects and performance.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “It is sickening that our brave police officers face assaults and attacks as they work tirelessly to keep us all safe.
“They are our protectors and I will do everything in my power to give them what they need to keep themselves and the public safe.This new Taser model will provide a safe and effective tool for apprehending criminals.”
Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, CEO of the College of Policing, said: “Policing is becoming ever more challenging and ensuring officers have the training and support needed to keep themselves safe while protecting the public is rightly a priority for the service.
“The College of Policing has worked with the government and NPCC on the evaluation and testing of the new Taser model and we will be issuing updated training and guidance to officers and instructors as part of the roll out.
“All officers carrying Taser, regardless of their rank or role, will continue to be trained to the high national standards set by the College.”