Hampshire Constabulary have announced that more frontline officers are to be trained to use Tasers.
The decision by the force follows careful consideration of discussions with the Hampshire Police Federation and Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
An additional 60 frontline officers will be chosen for training. More than 300 officers have training already to carry Tasers in Hampshire Constabulary.
The cost of the training, approved by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), will be nearly £20,000 and is due to be completed by the end of 2015. Applications will be invited from experienced officers on Targeted Patrol Teams (TPT) and in the Roads Policing Unit (RPU).
Hampshire Constabulary Chief Superintendent Scott Chilton said “We recognise that frontline officers require necessary equipment to manage a range of difficult and dangerous circumstances.”
“The experiences of using Taser show it can be an effective option for calming and resolving situations safely with less risk of serious injury to officers, suspects, victims, and other members of the public.”
“The force has listened and acted upon the views of officers, whom in a recent Police Federation survey supported an increase in access to Tasers.”
“Not every officer is given a Taser; we make training decisions based on a proportionate number that can help keep the public and police safe in our local communities.”
“The use of Taser across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight reflects the rigorous and consistent training completed by officers specifically selected as meeting the high standard required to carry one.”
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, comments “Increasing the number of officers trained to carry Tasers will improve frontline policing to deter criminals and keep communities safe, which is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan. Alongside enabling this investment, I have been clear that each use must be justified as being necessary and proportionate to the perceived threat.”