Police chief pledges to issue tasers to all frontline officers following spike in 'sickening attacks'

Tasers will be issued to every frontline officer in one police force in response to a ‘sickening trend’ of attacks.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 15:06 pm
One police force is to issue Tasers to every frontline officer (PA)

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the decision to issue the weapons was not taken lightly.

He told the Daily Express: "I can't sit here and preside over a situation where my officers are exposed to increasing levels of violence when at my disposal is equipment that could save an officer's life.

"There are people out there who are prepared to seriously injure, or worse.

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"We haven't moved with the times and we have to move with the times to combat the threat we are facing daily from those who simply have no respect for law and order."

Mr Adderley has previously called for Tasers to be standard issue within three years, but said he was ‘not prepared to wait’ and that Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold was ‘fully supportive’.

It will take 18 months to train and equip the officers and cost around £220,000.

A Taser is a weapon designed to temporarily incapacitate a suspect through the use of an electrical current.

In a tweet, Mr Adderley said risks to officers had ‘changed dramatically’, adding: "Our officers have a right to feel safe, supported and adequately equipped to tackle this sickening trend."

The announcement follows the death of PC Andrew Harper in Berkshire last week as he responded to reports of a burglary.

Earlier this month, PC Stuart Outten was attacked with a machete in Leyton, east London, and used a Taser despite being stabbed in the head.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "We should ensure every officer who wants to carry a Taser can do so.

"Officer safety should never come second to balancing the books."

Earlier this month, Steven Kent, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation ‘called for Government funded routine issue of taser for every frontline officer in the country’ following the machete attack on the officer in London.