Assembly wants body worn cameras for all taser-equipped officers
Tasers should never be used in an unwitnessed and unaccountable way.
The London Assembly agreed a motion today calling on the Met Commissioner to ensure that video is always switched on before a taser is discharged.
Shaun Bailey AM, who proposed the motion said:
“Tasers are important tools for the police to keep Londoners, and themselves, safe from harm. Such a widespread rollout though must be implemented in a controllable and accountable fashion to keep the public onside.
Policing by consent is one of the UK’s most important assets and for it to be maintained the public must trust that the police use these weapons appropriately.
It is only right then that body-worn cameras are used when tasers are drawn where possible to protect individual officers from any accusations of misuse.”
Sian Berry AM, who seconded the motion said:
“The Assembly has spoken up today for proper safeguards for Londoners’ human rights. The Mayor and the Met must be transparent and accountable over taser use.
The Mayor’s statement that body-worn cameras are the ‘biggest game changer’ in protecting Londoners’ human rights needs to be backed up by policies that ensure officers are wearing them whenever they are equipped with weapons like tasers that can do us harm.
Tasers are being rolled out to more officers across London, and the rules have changed so some officers can use them when they are on their own. It is in the public interest, and the interest of the Met, that every officer carrying a taser is also equipped with a body-worn camera.”
The full text of the motion is:
This Assembly notes the decision of the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis to increase the number of taser-trained officers to 6,400.
The Assembly further notes the rule change that enables officers on single patrol to carry taser and the near-complete roll out of body worn cameras to taser-equipped officers.
The Assembly urges the Mayor to make representations to the Commissioner calling on her to ensure that the police attempt, to the best of their ability, to ensure that tasers are never used in an unwitnessed and unaccountable way.
The Assembly notes that the best way to guarantee this is to make sure that all lone taser-carrying officers are equipped with body worn video. Apart from in circumstances where a police officer’s safety may be in immediate danger, such video should always be switched on before a taser is discharged.
Notes to editors
- Watch the full webcast.
- The motion was agreed unanimously.
- Shaun Bailey AMwho proposed the motion, is available for interviews. Please see contact details below.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Alison Bell on 020 7983 4228. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.