Watch­dog de­fends use of taser on knife sus­pect

Western Mail - - NEWS -

THE po­lice watch­dog has de­fended the use of a taser which left a Llan­dudno man, sus­pected of car­ry­ing a knife, crit­i­cally in­jured and fight­ing for his life.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC) has found the use of the weapon on the 24-year-old man to be “rea­son­able and pro­por­tion­ate in the cir­cum­stances”.

At 10.15pm on July 27 last year of­fi­cers were called to a do­mes­tic dis­tur­bance at Bry­niau Court in Llan­dudno.

After gain­ing en­try to the ad­dress, of­fi­cers con­fronted the 24-year-old man, who they had been told was in pos­ses­sion of a large knife, and fired a taser at him. The man fell back­wards and suf­fered a se­ri­ous head in­jury which caused him to lose con­scious­ness and fall into a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

North Wales Po­lice re­ferred them­selves to the IPCC over the in­ci­dent. The man was treated in hos­pi­tal and has since re­cov­ered.

As part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which has taken more than a year, the IPCC con­sid­ered whether the use of force by the of­fi­cers was rea­son­able.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors ob­tained ac­counts from mem­bers of the public, po­lice and paramedics and ex­am­ined body-worn video footage of the in­ci­dent.

Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Me­lanie Palmer said: “The IPCC in­ves­ti­ga­tor found no in­di­ca­tion that the of­fi­cers in­volved in this in­ci­dent may have be­haved in a man­ner that would jus­tify the bring­ing of dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings.

“In this case, the of­fi­cers were con­fronted in a con­fined space by an in­di­vid­ual who had been seen in the street with a knife.

“The ev­i­dence in­di­cates the of­fi­cer who tasered the man used no more force than he hon­estly, rea­son­ably and in­stinc­tively con­sid­ered nec­es­sary for the pur­pose of pro­tect­ing him­self and his col­league.”

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