Police used Tasers 23 times

POLICE in South Yorkshire fired Taser weapons fewer than two dozen times whist dealing with incidents last year, according to figures released today.

Some 230 frontline officers are now trained to use and carry the weapon which was discharged 23 times.

There were a further 76 incidents recorded where a person was "red dotted" - a laser light warning shone at them prior to a discharge.

Officers have used Tasers to prevent attempted suicides, on people who have assaulted emergency services staff and to calm down domestic abuse situations.

On one occasion a Taser was used on a grieving mother from the Low Edges area who said she was going to cut herself with a knife.

Officers found her holding a large kitchen knife to her throat.

A Taser was discharged and she was safely detained and taken to hospital.

In another incident Yorkshire Ambulance service requested police to attend an address in Arbourthorne after a man had taken an overdose, threatened the crew with a knife and assaulted a paramedic.

Officers attempted to persuade the man to drop the eight-inch knife but he refused.

He threatened the police officers and said that he would hurt himself.

When the man continued to refuse to cooperate with police, a Taser was discharged.

The man was safely detained and taken to Northern General Hospital.

Superintendent Liz Watson said: "Extending the number of officers carrying Taser has been successful and is helping to keep residents safe."

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