Taser Guns

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:59 am on 12th January 2006.

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Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat 11:59 am, 12th January 2006

I warmly welcome the First Minister's response. As is the case with plastic bullet rounds, which were first used in Scotland in my constituency just before Christmas, Taser guns are to be given a cautious welcome as an additional, less lethal, alternative to the police using firearms. In addition to the assurances that he has given, will the First Minister ensure that, under the regulatory regime for the appropriate use of Taser guns—by firearms officers who have received the proper training—Tasers will be deployed only under the oversight of very senior police officers; that any use of Taser guns will be thoroughly scrutinised by a police officer from another force; and that the Scottish Executive will not allow the routine deployment of Tasers by police officers, which would itself put police officers and communities at risk? In his consideration of the use of Taser guns, will he take into account the health risks to people who are shot with them?