Tasers

Meeting: 
Plenary on 2007-11-07
Session date: 
November 7, 2007
Reference: 
2007/0131
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
Sir Ian Blair (Police Commissioner) and Len Duvall (Chair, MPA)

Question

How many times have Metropolitan Police officers made use of Tasar stun guns each year since their introduction? How do you expect this to change following the trial of issuing Tasars to non-firearms trained officers?

Answer

Answer for Tasers

Answer for Tasers

Answered By: 
Sir Ian Blair (Police Commissioner) and Len Duvall (Chair, MPA)

Taser was first introduced in April 2003 as part of a trial involving the MPS and four other Forces.

Since that time it has been used by MPS AFOs on 198 occasions, details as follows;

Force Drawn/aimed/red dot Arced Drive Stun Fired Total

MPS 65 4 25 104 198

(Details correct as of 12 October 07)

All MPS AFO's are now trained in the use of the weapon and officers from each Armed OCU deployed with the device.

The more problematic part of the question is addressing future use by non-AFOs, of which there will be a maximum of 18 officers (this will not be 24 hours a day), attached to the TSG, on duty in London at any one time. Each TSG unit comprises three carriers and each carrier will have a pair of Taser officers on board (that is six per unit = three vehicles). Hence each unit will have six Taser officers and a maximum of 18 across London on any given day.

The ACPO guidance states that the weapon can be used in incidents,

where officers are facing violence or threats of violence of such severity that it is likely that they will need to use force to protect themselves or a member of the public

Clearly it is difficult to predict how many such incidents the Specially Trained Officers of the TSG will be deployed to during the trial period.

Those officers when confronted with such incidents will need to decide on the most appropriate tactical option, Taser being only one of them, would be best suited to resolving the incident in the safest possible manner.