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Arming the Met: The deployment of less-lethal weapons in London

17 October 2013

This Police and Crime Committe report  Arming the Met: The deployment of less-lethal weapons in London , sets out a series of steps that should be taken by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) before changes are made to the availability or range of less lethal weapons carried by police officers on the capital’s streets.

Taser x26 - photo by Jason Bain

The Committee concluded that the 2012 decision to nearly triple the number of MPS officers trained to use Taser, and deploy increased numbers of Tasers, failed to adequately explain why the Met felt more weapons were needed or properly consult the public about the deployment. In future both the MPS and the Mayor must make the case publicly for why more weapons are needed before putting them on London's streets.

The report also warns against tampering with the rigorous training course police officers undergo to qualify to use Taser in an attempt to reduce the current 20 per cent of officers who fail the course.