Tasers: How they helped save PC from man ‘about to throw kitchen knife’
OffICER SAYS WITHOUT IT, HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO SHOOT HIM
as police call it, saves lives.
They all confirmed it removes the need for officers to get up close and personal with violent criminals, or to cause serious damage with potentially-lethal firearms.
Only one of the officers we spoke to had even fired the Taser, as most of the time the psychological threat of it is enough to quell violence in suspects.
By simply turning off the safety catch, a red dot is shone on the target that indicates line of sight.
PC Simms said: “I used the Taser from 2006 to 2012 when it started to be rolled out and in that time I fired it just once, but I drew it many times.”
Around eight years ago, he was part of the Derbyshire police’s armed response team.
He said: “It was a violent domestic incident in Chaddesden. We were asked to attend to back up local officers. On arrival the male had assaulted his partner, smashed his house up and was threatening officers.
“They had deployed around five cans of CS gas that had had no effect. It usually only takes a couple of sprays to calm someone down.
“He came outside armed with a large kitchen knife and went to throw it at me so I deployed my Taser, which immediately incapacitated him. I think if I had not had the Taser, I would have shot him, which could have been fatal.
“I even saw him in court later on and he came up to me and shook my hand. He said he was so sorry and that he had never felt anything quite like it in his life. It was so painful.
“The value of a Taser is massive. It prevents injury to the subject, members of the public and police officers themselves.”
PC Simms, who is a Taser instructor, wanted to clear up confusion From left to, PCs Darren Mabbott, Louisa Briscoe, Jon Simms and Sgt Pete Moss
in the media about usage of the weapon.
The number of “uses” of the Taser can make it seem like it is fired often, he said, when this is not the case.
“Use” can denote anything from being drawn all the way up to firing it. The vast majority of times it is authorised (more than 95%), the Taser is not fired.
PC Darren Mabbott, another instructor, said: “I first was trained in the Taser in 2007 and I used it for 11 years but I have never needed to fire it.
“The red dot is usually enough to make people calm down and avoid violence. It shows the person that the next thing that happens could be them getting shot by it so it has a large psychological effect.”
Sgt Pete Moss, Taser training manager, spoke of his experiences with the weapon: “I was firearms before and I was trained in the Taser in 2012.
“I have never had to fire it at a person in the field. I have trained the red dot on someone and that’s the most I’ve done. The majority of officers who are trained in it have not fired it in the field.
“The red dot is the most effective form of use for the Taser I think because it has such a psychological effect on people.
“It saves lives: both of our officers who aren’t firearms trained Many Derbyshire Police officers are trained to use the non-lethal Taser who don’t need to get close to deal with a threat, and of the public who are no longer under threat of violence.”
The Derby Telegraph previously reported that Derbyshire Constabulary plans to roll out 100 more Taser trained officers this year.
Sgt Moss confirmed the force would only need to buy another 20 Taser X2s to fully equip this team, as usage of a Taser can be rotated.
The Taser has been widely well received by the public. Since the introduction of the X2 in 2017, there have only been two complaints from members of the public, both of which were unfounded, the officers said.
Our reporter was allowed to inspect a Taser up close. They described it as looking “hi-tech” with a computer screen on it that denoted which of the cartridges was ready to fire, laser sights and a warning sign if there was a fault detected.
It even knows how best to allocate voltage to the subject to get the best reaction.
During the day, officers were subject to rigorous testing using the device, including being able to shoot from the floor in awkward positions, firing on the move with both dominant and off-hand and also firing in low light with blue police lights flashing. These all simulated real-life scenarios.