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Actions Against The Police

Use Of Taser Guns By The Police

Since 2003 the police have been allowed to carry Taser guns. Carrying weapons comes with it a weight of responsibility: it’s essential that the police only use them when absolutely necessary, and that they follow correct procedure when they do.

The police are allowed to use Tasers when they are faced with serious threat of violence and they consider that the use of the Taser is reasonable and proportionate to the threat they face. But we place a great deal of trust in them to know what constitutes a serious threat and how much force is ‘reasonable’.

Being arrested or restrained can be a terrifying experience; when a weapon is used this can make it even more frightening – especially if it is used inappropriately or unnecessarily. Many people have been injured by Tasers during peaceful protests, when being arrested and when they have already been put in handcuffs.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a Taser, our specialist lawyers could help you claim compensation and get the answers you deserve.

The physical and psychological effects of a Taser can be serious, including:

  • Heart attack (especially when there is a pre-existing heart condition)
  • Breathing problems
  • Emotional trauma

Our expert lawyers have extensive experience dealing with claims against the police and can help you get the resolution you need to move forwards. Making a complaint against the police can be a daunting prospect – but we are here to help you through the process.

For more information on making a Taser gun claim, call 0800 028 1943 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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Taser Gun Claims - More Information
    • Who Can Make A Claim?
    • Anyone who believes they have been subjected to police misconduct may be able to bring legal action against the police. You can also bring a claim on someone else’s behalf if they are unable to – for example if they:

      • Are a child
      • Lack mental capacity to instruct solicitors

      You can also bring a claim on behalf of a loved one who has died if an inquest finds that the police or other authority was responsible for their death. For more information on how we can represent you at inquest, please visit our Inquests page.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • There are strict time limits in place when bringing a claim, so we always recommend getting in touch with our experts sooner rather than later.

      You have 6 years to make a claim for wrongful arrest or false imprisonment. However, you only have 3 years if you are making a personal injury claim.

      If you are making a complaint against the police, you only have one year.

      There are some exceptions that may apply, for example:

      • If you are claiming on behalf of a child
      • If you are bringing a claim on behalf of someone without the mental capacity to bring their own claim

      If you are thinking about making a claim against the police or another authority, we urge you to get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can advise you on the best action.

    • What’s The Process For Making A Claim?
    • First of all you’ll speak to one of our friendly team on the phone. You can talk to us about your situation and we’ll assess whether or not we can help you.

      If we’re able to take your claim forward, we’ll get started right away. Our expert team will look into your case in detail, compiling evidence to make sure your case is as strong as possible. Where appropriate – for example in the case of personal injury – we’ll obtain expert medical opinion to support your claim and show the impact on your life.

      Bringing a claim against the police may involve first filing a police complaint. If this is the case, we’ll be able to advise you through the process. You can find out more about how these complaints are dealt with on our Police Complaints Procedure page.

      Once we have everything we need, we’ll attempt to settle your claim. Most cases settle out of court and that is always our preferred option, but if this isn’t possible, we will support you through the trial and help you with any court appearance.

    • What Is The IPCC?
    • The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is an independent body set up to deal with complaints against the police. Anyone can make a complaint to the IPCC but they tend to only investigate the most serious claims – usually those involving severe injury or death.

      Complaints not dealt with by the IPCC should be referred to the Professional Standards Department within the relevant police force so that the conduct of the police officer/s involved can be properly investigated. However, this is often not the case, and we often find examples of both the IPCC and the Professional Standards Department not properly applying the police complaints procedure.

      This means although the correct structures are in place for people to file a complaint against the police, this doesn’t guarantee every complaint the attention it deserves.

      For this reason we advise having the experts on your side. 

      Read more about our expertise in handling the Police Complaints Procedure.

    • What funding is available?
    • When we first take on your case will discuss funding options with you. Legal aid is available to bring claims against the police, provided you meet the financial eligibility criteria. If you don't qualify for legal aid, we can offer conditional fee agreements (No Win No Fee*), fixed fee, or other funding arrangements depending on your circumstances.

    • Meet the Team
    • We’ve helped clients to claim against almost every major police force in the country. Our specialist lawyers have the experience and expertise to make sure your case gets the attention it deserves.

      We have a proven track record of success in high profile cases and frequently challenge police policy and activities. Fiona McGhie on our team worked with Cerebra to update their guidelines on the arrest and detention of disabled children. We also work closely with the charity INQUEST to push for more transparency around deaths in police custody and other state detention.

      We are listed as a leading firm in the area of Actions Against the Police by the premier legal guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. As well as our own specialist knowledge, as a full-service law firm we can draw on the expertise of colleagues from all areas of law where appropriate to ensure your case is dealt with as comprehensively as possible.

      We promise to keep you informed throughout your case, avoiding legal jargon and explaining everything to you in plain English. However your case progresses, we’ll do everything we can to protect your best interests and take the determined action required to achieve a positive resolution for you and your family.

      Meet the team

I feel like I've taken on the world and beaten it, not just for me but for everyone else.”

Mrs R, Client
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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Taser And What Injuries Can It Cause?

A Taser is an electro-shock weapon designed to incapacitate someone temporarily. It is a hand-held weapon much like a pistol, but bright yellow.

The gun fires two dart-like electrodes, which then conduct the electrical current into a person’s body, causing strong involuntary muscle contractions. This means a person shot with a Taser will either stop in their tracks or drop to the ground. Anyone who has been shot with a Taser should be examined by a doctor (it is police procedure to ensure this happens).

Being shot with a Taser is very painful and can trigger pre-existing heart conditions, causing severe respiratory problems or even a heart attack. This is also a risk if someone is under the influence of drugs.

Although the effects of a Taser shot are meant to be temporary, the experience can leave long-lasting psychological scars – especially alongside the distress of being arrested or confronted by the police. The gun is designed specifically as a non-lethal weapon to subdue violent confrontation without causing permanent physical injuries, but as with any weapon, there are potential complications which mean that the actual damage can be long term, or even fatal.

If you would like to speak to one of our expert team about the police’s use of Taser guns on you or a loved one, call today on 0800 028 1943 – or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.

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When Are The Police Allowed To Use Taser Guns?

The pain and potential damage caused by Tasers means that they should only be used when absolutely necessary. Not every member of the police carries a Taser, and those that do should be trained to use them appropriately.

Any officer that uses a Taser must justify their decision as being a reasonable response to the level of threat they are dealing with.

However, this rule is not always followed in practice. Many people have also been injured by Tasers because officers discharged the weapon before properly considering alternative options.

We are here to help you if you feel that the police’s use of a Taser on you was unwarranted. We’ve helped many people bring claims against the police and will get you the support, answers and resolution you need.

Call our expert team today on 0800 028 1943 or fill out our online form and we'll call you back. 

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Why Should I Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Taser Claim?

Our dedicated team of lawyers have considerable experience helping people bring claims for use of Tasers. We are recognised as a leading firm in the field of claims against the police by high profile legal guides Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, and have successfully brought claims against almost every major police force in the country.

We've successfully represented a number of clients in Taser claims, including:

Challenging the police can feel like an impossible task, especially when you’ve been made to feel like you are powerless. We will listen to what you have to say and we’ll give you advice in plain English, without technical jargon. We understand the issues you will be facing, and will make sure you’re informed at every stage of your claim.

Making a claim can be important not only for your own benefit but also to inform future practice and ensure others are not treated in the same way. As well as an apology and compensation for your injuries or breach of human rights, we can help you seek reassurances that the same mistakes will not be made again.

Whatever your situation, our specialist lawyers will work hard to get you the best outcome possible.

Call us today on 0800 028 1943 – or use our online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.

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