Police use of Tasers in England and Wales has risen by half over the last five years according to Home Office figures released yesterday. In total Tasers were used 10,062 times in 2014, compared to 6,649 times in 2010.
A new joint report by Amnesty International and Omega Research Foundation investigates the human rights impact of less lethal weapons and other law enforcement equipment used in places of detention and in policing of protests.
It looks at weapons in five categories: restraints, kinetic impact devices, chemical irritants (including riot control agents), electric shock devices, and other technologies such as acoustic devices.
Alex Massie commenting on The Spectator website today raises the issue of safety and asks the question 'when did it become ok for the police to electrocute children?' New figures obtained from the Home Office show that 400 children had Tasers 'drawn' on them in 2013. The BBC highlights that this is a 37% increase on the previous year.
Police in England and Wales used tasers more than 10,000 in 2013, The Guardian reports, an increase of 27 per cent in a year.
Figures from the annual Police use of taser statistics also show that taser use has increased dramatically year on year since 2009, when they were used just over 3,000 times.
More than 14,700 police are now armed with tasers. Figures due out tomorrow will show that in 2009 there were 3,500 taser deployments, rising to more than 7,000 a year in 2010 and 2011. The police have now been instructed to refrain from using the weapons at point blank range after a surge in complaints, reports The Guardian and The Times.
Police officers could face criminal charges after a blind man was shot with a 50,000-volt Taser when his white stick was mistaken for a Samurai sword. Prosecutors confirmed that police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has passed them a file for consideration after 63 year old Colin Farmer, who is visually impaired, was hit with the stun gun in October last year.