Taser guns used 40 times in Suffolk
SUFFOLK police have used their 50,000 volt Taser stun guns 40 times since April 2004, according to new government figures.Officers fired the two-pronged electrically charged barbs on 13 occasions between April 22, 2004, and March 31 this year.
SUFFOLK police have used their 50,000 volt Taser stun guns 40 times since April 2004, according to new government figures.
Officers fired the two-pronged electrically charged barbs on 13 occasions between April 22, 2004, and March 31 this year.
On another occasion a Taser was pressed against a suspect to stun them rather than use the barbs.
The gun's red dotted laser has been pointed at suspects a further 18 times but the weapons were not fired and once a Taser was pointed without being activated.
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Although the guns were drawn by firearms officers another seven times they were neither aimed nor fired.
Earlier this year Suffolk Constabulary ordered a further 100 Tasers from the Home Office to go with the 16 it already has.
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After a pilot project at a small number of forces across the country, non-firearms officers will now be trained to carry the weapons in Suffolk.
Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: 'Taser gives officers an additional and effective less lethal option when faced with potentially dangerous situations.
'Tasers have proved to be extremely effective alongside our other negotiating tactics and even the warning that it may be used is often enough to diffuse the situation.'
Nationally, Tasers have been used on 4,818 occasions in the same five-year period.
The Home Office figures reveal that the use and discharge of Tasers against violent criminals has increased as more specially-trained units take to the streets.
Statistics for the first quarter of 2009 are the first published since all police forces were authorised to give Tasers to non-firearms officers specially-trained to use the devices.
This followed a successful 12-month trial in ten forces across the country last year.
The new figures reveal the devices were used 250 times by specially trained units in the last quarter, up from 187 in the previous quarter.
The units discharged them 62 times in the three months to April, compared to 35 in the last three months of 2008.
Specially trained units have now used Tasers 1,098 times since the trial began in September 2007. They were discharged 190 times.