Call for more Taser guns for frontline police officers after horror axe attack in Sheffield

Police Fedeartion chairman Neil Bowles, who is based at Maltby Police Station.
Police Fedeartion chairman Neil Bowles, who is based at Maltby Police Station.

Police chiefs have been asked to provide more Taser guns to frontline officers following a horror axe attack on officers in Sheffield.

Neil Bowles, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, made the suggestion after a man armed with an axe injured five officers in Gleadless Valley.

One female officer remains in hospital today with a fractured skull, broken leg and seriously injured hand following the incident, which started at a flat in Plowright Close and spilled out into the nearby Co-op in Blackstock Road.

Police officers used a Taser gun to restrain the suspect before he could be arrested in the shop.

But Police Federation chairman Neil Bowles said if more officers carried Tasers - stun guns - incidents could be resolved before they have time to escalate.

He said the roll-out of Tasers would have to be a decision taken nationally.

Mr Bowles said: “We have been considering this in the Federation for some time now - we are calling for all officers out on the streets to be equipped with Taser equipment.

“Once fired it will disable people’s motor reliant muscles so that you can easily move in and restrain them safely.

“There have been over 700 reviews of this kit and 99 per cent of people it was used on suffered no injuries at all.

“Violent crime is on the up nationally and especially in South Yorkshire.

“This incident did not need to be as serious if the first officer on the scene had been better equipped.”

Sumner, aged 35, of Plowright Close, has been charged with attempted murder, six counts of assault by beating, a section 47 assault, two counts of making threats to kill, affray, threatening a person with a blade in a public place and production of cannabis.