Police: Stun Guns

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to train police officers to use de-escalation techniques to reduce the number of incidents involving tasers; and what assessment they have made of the proportion of incidents involving the use of tasers where the target is (1) a member of an ethnic minority, or (2) a person with a mental health condition or learning disability.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

The Government is committed to giving the police the necessary tools to do their job effectively and conducted energy devices (CEDs), such as TASER®, provide officers with an important tactical option when facing potentially physically violent situations.

The deployment of CEDs is a matter for Chief Officers to determine and it is for them to determine the number of devices and specially trained officers based on their force assessment of threat and risk

The training of police officers is independent of Government and it is the College of Policing who sets the professional standards for policing. However, all officers receive comprehensive training in deescalation techniques as well as training to assess the potential vulnerabilities of a person including awareness of mental health issues.

The Government is clear that nobody should be subject to force or different treatment based on their race or ethnicity, and police forces must ensure that officers use force in a way that is fair, lawful and proportionate.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring transparency and accountability around the police use of force, which is why from December 2018 the Home Office began publishing use of force statistics as part of the Annual Data Review (ADR). This will be published on an annual basis.

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