Police make a bid for more taser weapons
TASER weapons could be used on more criminals in the county if a Kent Police bid for government funding is successful.
Chief Constable Mike Fuller and senior colleagues are compiling a bid to be sent to the Home Office at the end of the month to make taser guns available to regular police as well as firearms units.
The Home Office is allocating £8 million to the issue of the weapons, with forces across the country invited to state their case for a share of the pot next year.
At a Kent Police Authority (KPA) meeting last week the Chief Constable said he was interested in creating specially trained units with taser equipment.
He said “The advantage with a taser is it not only acts as protection to both officers and the public but it also stops very serious injury being caused to anybody who’s being violent or threatening violence.
“Our police officers already have a number of items of safety equipment like metal asps but if they are used they cause very serious injury to whoever they are used upon.
“With the taser gun the threat from the red dot of the laser on someone’s chest and the knowledge they may end up with 10,000 volts through them is enough for them to surrender any weapon they may have.
“A lot of potentially serious incidents are resolved with no weapon being fired at all.”
Mr Fuller told the KPA there was a decrease in crime in Kent of 7.5 per cent from April to October and that violent crime went down 6.6 per cent in the same period.
Serious violent crime has gone up 132.5 per cent, but this was put down to counting rule changes.
“In terms of chances of success with our bid we’ve seen declining numbers of firearms incidents and violence in the last year so that won’t help us” said Mr Fuller.
“We are not a violent county so the bid will need to be made on the grounds of officer safety.”
Chief Constable Mike Fuller - “taser acts as protection for officers and the public”