You’ll perhaps remember me wondering whether one of our Green councillors was truly serious in worrying about Tasers being used on children.
So I’m interested in the Home Office’s figures:
The latest Taser statistics published today include figures from the first half of the Taser trial which was launched on 1 September 2007. The number of Taser usages for the period between 1 September 2007 and 29 February 2008 was 252 (236 of which were in last three months). Tasers were actually only discharged in 31 situations (of which 25 discharges were in the last three months) indicating that drawing or aiming the Taser is enough of a deterrent in most situations.
These figures are across 10 police forces and unfortunately there’s no breakdown to the Lewisham level (the Met account for 7 of the 31) or on the ages of those who have been the unhappy recipients of the shock.
But ACPO’s spokesman gives a clear view of who they think are likely to find themselves on the wrong end of this weapon:
Taser provides officers with an additional tool to defuse high risk situations involving extreme violence or the threat of such violence, protecting the public and officers from serious harm. In certain circumstances, its use can be more appropriate than conventional firearms in resolving dangerous situations safely and without injury to any person.
For other reasons I’ve also been reminded over the last week of this video of Richard Brunstrom being tasered.