MQT on 2019-01-17
Session date: 
January 17, 2019
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Police officers who carry a Taser are more likely to be attacked than their unarmed colleagues because of the "weapons effect", according to researchers at Cambridge University’s study of City of London officers armed with Taser who were not only 50 per cent more likely to use force in the line of duty, but they were also twice as likely to be on the receiving end of violence. What does this research suggest for extending the use of Taser and of firearms?




Answered By: 
The Mayor

The City of London study was interesting but only considered nine assaults, six of which were on officers who were carrying Taser.  It is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from this small sample size, not least since Taser-equipped officers are more likely to be deployed to violent incidents. 

5700 MPS officers are trained to carry Taser. In the twelve months to October 2018, Officers drew Taser from their holsters on around 5000 occasions but only actually fired in around 8% of those cases. The mere presence of a Taser often avoids the need for officers to use further force. Taser deployments and tactics are kept under constant review - it is a proven proportionate and effective means to deal with violent offenders.  The Met will use the City of London study to begin to examine their own data as they do not have a comparative study.