‘I don’t want beat managers carrying Tasers’: Chief constable and crime commissioner clash over officer equipment
PUBLISHED: 18:33 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:09 20 March 2019
Norfolk’s chief constable and the county’s elected police official have clashed over whether all officers should be armed with Tasers.
Chief constable Simon Bailey debated the issue with police and crime commissioner Lorne Green at a police accountability forum meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Green, speaking at the headquarters of Norfolk Constabulary in Wymondham, said: “I know we do not have a magic money tree, however in an ideal world we would like to equip every officer regardless of duty with a Taser.”
Mr Bailey responded: “I don’t believe equipping every single officer with a Taser is the right thing to do. I think there is a balance here and we have got to get it right.
“If a beat manager came to me and wanted one I would want to know why they felt they needed it. Some beat managers carry Tasers but not all need or want to carry one.
“Let’s look at the levels of confidence the community has in what we are doing. I don’t want beat managers carrying Tasers, I don’t believe it is necessary.”
At a previous accountability meeting on January 31, Mr Bailey reported that more officers have been Taser trained, and plans had been developed by officers for the next two years, adding that based on threat assessments there needs to be an understanding of necessity.
In the summer of 2018 Mr Bailey vowed that every officer in the county would be equipped with Tasers by 2021 in response to more than 500 attacks on officers within a year.
Later in the meeting Mr Green asked if, in light of the recent attack in New Zealand, Norfolk Constabulary have “an extra annentae” in place for a copycat right-wing terrorist attack.
Assistant chief constable Nick Davison said: “We have through our special branch colleagues an ability to look back into the national intelligence infrastructure that the country has in terms of monitoring extremism.
Mr Bailey also said Norfolk Constabulary has a plan for various outcomes of Brexit, but added it cannot plan for “every single eventuality”.
“We are lucky we do not have a Dover,” he said.
He also praised the chief finance officer for an exceptionally low overspend forecast for this year of £40,000.
Mr Bailey said: “I am very, very pleased to report this.”
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