Watch­dog backs po­lice over Taser use in­ci­dents

Evening Times - - NEWS -

THE use of Tasers by po­lice of­fi­cers has been “jus­ti­fied and pro­por­tion­ate” in the ma­jor­ity of cases and has helped save lives, a watch­dog has found.

The Po­lice In­ves­ti­ga­tions & Re­view Com­mis­sioner (PIRC) as­sessed the use of the de­vices in its 2018-19 an­nual re­port af­ter hu­man rights groups raised con­cerns about the po­ten­tial for them to be mis­used or overused.

Po­lice Scot­land an­nounced plans to train and equip more of­fi­cers with tasers in

De­cem­ber 2017.

It trained and equipped around 500 so-called spe­cially trained of­fi­cers (STOs), who were then rou­tinely armed with the de­vices from June 2018.

Over the pe­riod of the re­port, be­tween April 2018 and March 2019, PIRC as­sessed 34 uses of Tasers and went on to in­ves­ti­gate seven of the in­ci­dents fully.

It found that in all but one of the seven in­ves­ti­ga­tions the use of Tasers had been “nec­es­sary, jus­ti­fied and pro­por­tion­ate”.

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