Taser use 2016-2018

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 29th August 2019.

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Photo of Siân Berry Siân Berry Green

How many times did Metropolitan Police Service officers discharge Tasers in each year from 2016 to 2018? Could you break this total down further by: a) the number of discharges per year captured on Body Worn Video (BWV), and b) the number of discharges per year carried out by officers working on their own?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

During 2016 a Taser was discharged 261 times by an MPS officer. The figure was 384 times during 2017 and 601 times in 2018.

During these years the number of Taser Officers has increased form 4,010 in 2016 to 5,600 in 2018, which goes some way to show the increase in Taser discharge.

All uniformed officers in the MPS are equipped with BWV (Body Worn Video) and there is a requirement that they must turn on BWV when using Taser or any other use of force. Whilst each officer using Taser would make a record of the fact that BWV was (or was not) used, the MPS does not gather the data in a retrievable form on how many discharges each year were captured on BWV.

A new, more effective use-of-force monitoring process began in April 2017 so the data relating to officers using Taser whilst on their own is only available from that date.

Between April 2017 and December 2017, Taser was discharged 8 times by an officer working on their own. In 2018 it was 24 times.