Suffolk police defend their use of Tasers after nine-fold increase
SUFFOLK police have defended their use of Tasers after offices fired the weapon 18 times last year – compared to twice the previous year.
The nine-fold increase follows a nationwide pattern in the usage of Tasers, which has grown by an average of 130pc.
The 18 occasions in which Suffolk officers fired Tasers during 2010/11 also equated to more than the combined total for the previous six years.
Jonathan Ford, a force spokesman, said: 'Our priority is to support officers working on the front line. Taser is an effective tool designed to diffuse high risk situations and for dealing with violent people to secure a safe arrest where necessary.
'In certain circumstances, its use can be more appropriate than conventional firearms in resolving dangerous situations safely and without injury to any person. The mere threat of its use can be sufficient to deter assailants and ensure a peaceful resolution of the incident.'
New figures from 40 of the 43 forces in England and Wales show two-thirds of them fired the weapon 'significantly more' last year compared to the year before.
They were used a total 1,533 times last year, compared with 862 times in 2009 - an increase of 70pc.
- 1 Obituary: Tributes after 'heart-shaped hole' is left following teaching assistant's death
- 2 Face masks to be compulsory in shops and public transport, PM announces
- 3 Norfolk to be battered by winds of up to 65mph as Storm Arwen hits UK
- 4 Hermes courier and his wife could be jailed over ‘stolen parcels’
- 5 Man arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting girl on her way to school
- 6 A11 northbound closed following crash near Attleborough
- 7 Fire crews tackle large barn blaze
- 8 How Norfolk's current Covid figures compare to November 2020 lockdown
- 9 Significant damage to church after metal stolen from roof
- 10 'It was a shock' - Burglars raid newsagent after smashing window with axe
Sophie Khan, a Solicitor Advocate at GT Stewart, who represents clients who claim they have been unfairly Tasered, said: 'It is very much the officer thinking this is something new they can use and without any kind of risk of consequences.'