Police Forces ‘Must Provide Reassurances On Taser Training’

Research Reveals Increase In Use Of Weapons

07.12.2011

Police forces have been urged by a lawyer who acts for numerous people injured by tasers to provide reassurances over the training officers receive in relation to the equipment, after new research revealed the use of the weapons has increased by 130 per cent.

According to figures compiled by Channel 4 News, two thirds of the 40 police forces in England and Wales approached during its investigation revealed that the weapons were used much more in 2010 than in the previous year.

The increase has been revealed at a time when tasers are in the spotlight, after Scotland Yard commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe suggested every Met police car should be equipped with one. The call came despite human rights campaigners regularly voicing concerns over the potential dangers of the weapon.

Ifti Manzoor, a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, specialises in actions against the police and has represented a number of people seriously injured as a result of police officers using tasers or excessive force. He notably helped a man shot twice with one after he fell into a diabetic coma on a bus in Leeds to secure justice over the injuries he suffered.

Commenting on the increase in taser use, he said: “Following this news, it is vital that forces provide evidence that officers are being properly training and made fully aware of their responsibilities in terms of when and how they should deploy tasers.

“Tasers are undoubtedly a useful tool for officers to have at their disposal and can make all the difference in serious life-threatening situations. However, these figures raise concerns that officers may be using them in scenarios when they may not suitable.

“Our experience has shown that errors can be made and there are often terrible consequences when tasers are used at the wrong time, as victims can be left with serious physical and psychological scars they never fully recover from.

“Police officers of course have a difficult and high-pressure job to do, but we hope that the right guidance will ensure a big step is made towards protecting any innocent parties from potential harm.

“It is also vital that thorough assessment is given to each and every case that tasers are used, so forces can look to learn lessons and ensure officers are given the best possible advice on their use.”

Anyone who believes they have suffered unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution or injuries caused by police, should contact Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or visit our Claims Against the Police page for more information.