TASER is an excellent piece of kit that can protect both officers and the general public from injury, and help the police do their job, Hampshire Police Federation has said.
Every police officer in Hampshire who wants to carry a Taser can do so, and around two thirds of response officers now carry the kit.
Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, said: “Anybody that wants a Taser can put in for a Taser course. Obviously it’s going to take some time before they get through everyone but I think now on our response teams about two thirds have Taser. Obviously all our armed response do. Our roads traffic policing unit have Taser, and now they’re moving on to the neighbourhood officers as well. It’s definitely a good move; it makes a huge difference.”
Those opposed to wider police roll out of Taser do not realise that most of the times when it is “used” – according to the stats – this simply refers to it being drawn and suspects being ‘red dotted’, Zoë added.
She said: “The power of the red dot is just brilliant. I remember when, as a custody sergeant, we had somebody who’d come in in the back of a van and was saying that the moment we opened the door he was going to beat us all up and go crazy. So I just got one of the officers who had a Taser to go and try and talk to him. He was still saying the same thing, so we just used the red dot and the guy then came walking out of the van nice and calmly and walked into custody with no problem at all.
“It saved any of us getting hands on with him, which reduced the risk of injury not just to us but to him as well. It obviously then stopped him committing any more offences and it was very, very effective. All officers want is the tools to do their job.”
Zoe was speaking after Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, spoke out publicly about his decision to supply every officer with Taser because he was “sick of police assaults”.
He said: “I will never shy away from difficult decisions, controversial conversations or debates if it means never again will the relative or loved one of an officer hear a thud on the door at 4am, look out of the window, see a patrol car and know the next few minutes are going to change their lives forever.”