Reading Today

Police roll out new tasers


THAMES Valley Police officers will be among those taking part in the roll-out of new equipment for police.

Officers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabula­ry will join them in launching new taser devices to replace old models.

Over the next 12 months, police will update from current “X2” models to Taser 7 models, which are described by the force as an “evolution” of their predecesso­rs.

The new models will enhance the safety of personnel through the use of “twin” cartridge types which can be changed depending on the proximity of a person.

Tasers were first introduced in the UK in 2003, intended to find a middle ground between incapacita­te sprays, such as pepper spray, and firearms.

The new Taser model was designed in 2018 with a new probe mechanism to reduce the number of medical implicatio­ns of the use of stun devices.

Older probes could require medical attention to remove, or even get trapped in bone, if they penetrated sensitive areas.

New devices use a probe which is formed of a two-part mechanism similar to a bullet and casing assembly, meaning medical staff are less likely to be required to remove them.

They will require the use of a small tool to remove, also reducing the likelihood of selfremova­l or removal by another person.

They also come with a second round as backup if there are complicati­ons with the first shot, or it proves ineffectiv­e.

Its design also means the device is slightly more powerful.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob France, responsibl­e for the Joint Operations Unit between TVP and Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said: “Since the Home Office approved the T7, following rigorous testing, we have been looking into introducin­g this to replace the current X2 devices our people use.

“Ensuring the safety of all in our communitie­s, in particular the most vulnerable, is a key priority, and taser has an important part to play in this.

“All taser trained officers go through a comprehens­ive training programme, and continual refresher training, to ensure it is being used lawfully and appropriat­ely.

“Of course, we will always do all we can to resolve a situation without needing to use force; however, there are occasions when we must do so for the safety of the public, to ensure the safety of ourselves, or for the safety of the person involved in the incident.”

ACC France added: “The use of police tactics, including any use of taser, whether it is discharged or only used as a visual deterrent, is closely scrutinise­d.

“The trust and confidence of those we serve is extremely important to us.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom