31 comments on “The Taser Survey

  1. I’m in agreement that they should be issued to every officer. Not just for their safety. But also members of the public. Who they’re trying to protect.

  2. When the lump of wood that was formerly known as a truncheon was replaced by the Arnold baton / Monadnock side-handled baton / Asp expandable baton there were unfounded concerns raised that police would be beating people with polycarbonate or metal “bars” and a lot of media hype followed. Many years on from that there is hardly anything heard about it and the public have accepted it.

    When the police took the next step of equipping officers with CS / pepper spray there was again uproar that the “British Bobby” was becoming more paramilitary and like their American colleagues. Many years on from that there is hardly anything heard about it and the public have accepted it.

    Now many officers are being equipped with Taser. I won’t get into the technical specifications of it – there’s plenty of information about it on the net already but it is how that information is being presented to the public that is causing many needless concerns. We all know electricity is dangerous. Our household supply is based on a 240 volts alternating current system. We know that sticking our fingers in a socket could likely kill us through electrocution. Imagine then hearing that a Taser unleashes 50,000 volts when deployed. OH MY GOD!!! 50,000 volts!!! But understand this: VOLTS DON’T KILL. You ever seen your friends stick their hand on a Van Der Graff generator and laughed as their hair tried to touch the ceiling? You didn’t stop them because it generates 2 MILLION volts did you?! What kills is amps – plain and simple. Now imagine this: You’re having a heart attack and the only way to save your life is through a defibrillator shocking your heart back into a normal rhythm. A defibrillator delivers between 1 and 2 amps of electricity and, to put it in context, a Taser delivers 0.02 amps.

    If we don’t have the ability to deploy Tasers where required the only other options are:

    1. Incapacitant spray and / or baton. The use of a baton will leave significant pain, bruising and possibly fractured bones. A baton strike to the head intentional or accidental could lead to death.

    2. Police dog. Being bitten by a German Shepherd will hurt. Skin will be torn open requiring stitches and antibiotic injections. The pain inflicted goes without saying.

    3. Being confronted by an armed officer who is prepared to fire an AEP (baton) round at your centre mass (assuming that you’re standing still of course). That’s going to hurt and leave some bruising.

    4. Being confronted by an armed officer who is prepared to use their firearm with real bullets that will likely kill you.

    I think I’d rather take my chances with a Taser thank you.

    Once the public are properly informed about Taser and it’s guidelines for use, once they have seen it in use and the lives it saves / protects, Taser will be as accepted just as the rest of the kit we carry has.

    Bosco

    • None of the above mentioned weapons should be available to UK police until there is proper reform and the public feel that they can trust the police with any weaponry.
      For example Simon Harwood and countless others can’t even be trusted to use their bare hands properly and you want our government to arm you further?!

      Ps standard electrical supply to a domestic property in the UK is 230V, not 240V.

      Yours truly,
      An Electrician.

      • An Electrician, for many years the supply voltage for single-phase supplies in the UK has been 240V +/- 6%, giving a possible spread of voltage from 226V to 254 V. For three-phase supplies the voltage was 415 V +/- 6%, the spread being from 390 V to 440V. Most continental voltage levels have been 220/380V.

        In 1988 an agreement was reached that voltage levels across Europe should be unified at 230V single phase and 400V three-phase with effect from January 1st, 1995. In both cases the tolerance levels have become -6% to +10%, giving a single-phase voltage spread of 216 V to 253 V, with three-phase values between 376V and 440 V. It is proposed that on January 1st, 2003 the tolerance levels will be widened to +/- 10%.

        Since the present supply voltages in the UK lie within the acceptable spread of values, Supply Companies are not intending to reduce their voltages in the near future. This is hardly surprising, because such action would immediately reduce the energy used by consumers (and the income of the Companies) by more than 8%. (I feel, this puts paid to your pedantic comment in your alleged field of expertise.) P.S. look to wikipedia for current (!) information.

        May I just say, unless you have experienced an ‘angry man’ situation, you aren’t in a position to criticise loyal, hardworking police officers who are having to face, virtually on a daily basis, unchecked aggression. I worked 30 years on the front line of policing in a city I shan’t name, however there were many a time, I wished that I had a ‘Taser’ rather than the CS spray I’d been issued with. (Just an aside, but have you ever been in contact with CS? I did for my training, as ALL users are required to do.) When CS is used, it tends to ‘splash’ about a bit, contaminating everything within a 3-4 metre radius of the target. This is not a good day out. The effects of CS are not nice and long lasting, whereas ‘Taser’ are relatively short lived. So before you get on your high horse and quote high profile, one off, media hyped, aberrations, consider the the other 120,000 hardworking, loyal, diligent, and above all honest police officers out there, working their tripe off to keep you safe in your bed whilst you are posting crass remarks on a subject you obviously know little about.

      • So youve just proven my point Pleb.
        If a value has lower tolerance of -6% =216.2V and an upper tolerance of 10% = 253V then the mean value = 230V.
        So I am right in stating that the standard elctrical supply to a UK domestic property is 230 volts.

        No good using Wikipedia to cut and paste if you dont understand what it is your reading Pleb.

        Also the proposed harmonising of the tolerances to an equal 10% lower and upper limit in 2003 didnt happen.

        Furthermore the public trusting the word of provably untrustworthy police officers when it comes to policing policy would be like asking the army to write the Geneva convention.

  3. To all the critics of Officers carrying Taser’s, when are you going to see the light? This piece of kit saves lives. Of course it carries an element of risk, however Tasers are only drawn if there is a risk to life, limb, or property. Officers also carry batons or asp’s, when used these items are more likely to cause serious harm than a Taser, do you want officers to leave pieces of kit in the lock room when they go on patrol? How is the British Bobby supposed to deal with the ever increasing threat of armed violent offenders in the community? I await your responses

  4. Can only reiterate what Bosco has said. Currently, it is the best bit of kit available to a UK police officer who has to deal with violent people on the streets. The criteria for its use are if “the level of violence, (or the threat of violence), is of such severity, that force may be used”. Pretty wide ranging, I’ll grant you. But it is for the individual officer to JUSTIFY. It is not a device to be deployed o a whim. As for the matter of firearms officer getting more training on the device, that’s not strictly true. They get the same amount of training on Taser as one that is not a firearms officer. Their training is longer, as there is a lot of tactical firearms training (with firearms) involved. The actual time spent on Taser training, is, I believe, the same.

  5. I think all officers should have a taser, my husband (a serving police officer) had a very nasty situation last year and I personally think if he had been armed with a taser it wouldn’t have got as bad as it did! Before any officer is armed with a taser they are all specially trained to use them! They do a job unlike any other and they need protecting.

  6. Apesar de ser uma arma perigosa, e violenta! Acredito que todo o PUBLICO podem e devem ter acesso, principalmente a um dispositivo TASER! visto que se for bem usado, mesmo em caso de despreparo com a (Arma TASER) podes-se ser ainda menos letal…
    Sendo assim todo o HOMEM, tem o direito igual de defesa pessoal.

  7. Give all officers Taser it works as a deterrent as well as making some of the idiots out there think of fighting officers.Police officers do a great job, just a shame they are let down by the cps. Keep up the excellent work.

    • Yea they do a great job.
      When their not busy screwing married women whilst on duty, fitting up innocent MPs (and god knows how many innocent MoP’s), attacking innocent protesters (then boasting about it on Facebook or some other filth blog), ignoring 999 calls, racially abusing innocent MoP,s covering for one another when a member of the “unwashed” complains to PSD and countless other types of thuggish, racist, sexist, bigoted and feckless behaviours you would expect from a police service occupied by poorly selected, questionably educated, barely trained, unsupervised career people who are in it for the money and to be able to say “I’m a copper”, many of whom themselves have criminal records. How about that; a burglar breaks into your home, you call the police, and they send another one!
      It’s no joke that there are people working in Britain’s police service who would struggle to get a job stacking shelves at Tesco for the criminal records they posses.
      I refer to the mountain of evidence there is to support my post.
      The British public need and deserve a police service we can trust, not the rabble of bigoted thugs we are forced to put our blind faith in as a result of two decades of this institution being mismanaged and run into the ground.
      You people take no pride in your work, it’s far easier and enjoyable to toss it off and enjoy your egos.
      Protecting the public is not the name of the game for you any more.

      • Electrician, you obviously have strong feelings regarding Police officers in general, and by your tone, I can only assume that at some stage in the past, you were subject to what you feel as unjust treatment. However, as you feel so strongly on the matter, I find it strange that that you didn’t join the Police to try to change the culture, or at least make a difference. (Or is it just easier to sit back in the comfort of your own home, read the gutter press and make crass, sweeping comments on a subject you obviously have no knowledge of.)

      • Phil, whenever police officers misbehave the entire public are the collective victims because we are forced to put blind faith in you people when you do your job. Naturally, understandable frustration and anger will occur when this trust is abused just as it does when other people with real authority are seen flouting it ie politicians.

        I bet you’ve spoken ill of politicians before but you’ve never had to run the country so, does this mean you should keep your mouth shut when you have real concerns over issues that affect the society you live in? Of course not.
        The same applies to the public when we see our police officers misbehaving. We will speak out because this is Britain and we deserve better.
        Trying to silence me by saying I’ve never done the job is bigotry at its best. This is a democracy for everyone, not just you. So tough.

        You having done “the job” doesn’t mean that you know any better the dangers out there because we live, work and play in the same society, it just means that you are probably strongly biased to the police officers position, institutionalised and obviously hateful of anyone with a different opinion.

        As for the press, they have no agenda against the police, they’re just doing their job.
        It’s the police who have given the media the stories, then the media have let us know.

        Furthermore, many of the stories in the media aren’t one offs but they have been proven to be part of a worrying culture in the police of the behaviours I have mentioned above.
        Back to work.

  8. What the general public have to realize is that a Tazer is a least lethal option to be used. The alternative is to deploy full on firearms with the consequent likelihood of death! We should not expect a police officer to die doing his/her job. Repeat offenders, having been let off through the criminal justice system, seem to want to challenge authority leading to police officers greater need for protection with a Taser.

  9. The Taser is a very effective means of controlling certain dangerous situations, But it has the potential to be quite a lethal item of equipment for all Police Officers to use, In some situations the Officer can decide to back off and call for backup in the form of Firearms or specially trained Officers. But there will always be a situation which demands immediate action and the Officer attending would have to use his Baton or Spray and possibly also risk injury too himself, But I feel the use of them is better left too those specially trained to use them.

  10. Because of the supposed additional risks involved with and the resulting media circus following the use of taser then I feel that it should be issued to officers who volunteer to be trained in its use fully understanding the extra responsibility that comes with its deployment.

  11. Pingback: The Taser Survey | Policing news | Scoop.it

  12. I’m a SC in the MET and I’d have no question of all regular officers and MSC being equipped with a taser IF the appropriate training is provided, AND the support from the SLT when also appropriate.

    On the other side my personal opinion to have all officers equipped is split though. The current SLT are out of touch with patrol, but equally we forget they are under immense pressure to cut costs whilst hitting targets, meanwhile they have certainly forgotten that we are all human and need support, guidance and motivation.

    MSC should be treated with the same mentality as regulars, and as long as they have the qualified and supported experience, regular guidance and beyond intense training then I don’t see why they/we shouldn’t be given this last resort powers – however, I’m doubtful that the SLT will change its mentality, I’m doubtful some of the regulars are capable of dealing with such equipment, and very doubtful many specials will have this tool (and SLT support) as consideration to protect themselves, their regular colleagues, the public, and suspect for the matter.

  13. Pingback: The Taser Survey | BlackFlag | Scoop.it

  14. Pingback: I have a pen and I could probably kill you with it: Official absurdities and student brilliance abound in the opening salvos of the Taser debate at SFSU | Moorbey'z Blog

  15. If tasters were routinely issued to all police officers, what would happen to those officers who are currently taken off firearms/taser duties because senior officers believe them to be unsuitable? Would that mean immediate dismissal?

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  17. I think it’s a tragic state of affairs that a minority within ‘society’ has caused Police to reassess the need to and subsequently issue tazer at all!!

    The overwhelming majority of police do a remarkable and outstanding job. They are dedicated public servants who frequently put themselves into harms way to protect law abiding members of the public. These officers should be praised and honoured for their valiant efforts. I personally applaud you all. THANK YOU!!

    I do unfortunately concede that, like ALL professions, there are members who do not uphold the professional values expected of the service. It is the job of a robust and dynamic organisation to ensure procedures are in place to quickly remove these individuals from a position of authority and trust. This I believe is done. All of the cases listed above on this blog have resulted in disciplinary and / or criminal proceedings being taken against officers involved. People are quick to criticise the respective police services’ when these cases are brought into the public domain, but never follow up on them for doing their jobs and removing these people. Have the officers who have been discussed previously in this blog breached the trust placed in them? If they have then it is right they are punished for it. Police should strive to uphold and exceed the values they are empowered to enforce. Many of the ones I have met, do just that.

    In my opinion / experience the first principle when confronting aggression is through using effective communication and reasoning to bring a member of public’s aggression / frustration / confusion down to a level that requires NO use of physical force at all. This is ultimately what a responsible police officer’s main goal is. The majority of the time this is achieved by many officers. I appreciate that this may not always be the case, but police forces do work hard to deal with these cases. Could they do more? I think with the benefit of hindsight, you can always do more.

    However, the shift towards an anti-social attitude towards authority is rearing a generation of inherent aggression towards the police. I was born in the early 80’s, so am not speaking with a hangover from the ‘good old days’. Within my current generation (late 20’s to early 30’s) I have seen more of my former school mates make bad choices than not. This is the reality that members of the police service deal with. It’s tragic, but sadly requires more than a tazer to change.

    The level of aggression shown towards police has risen rapidly over the last decade. Is this down to a change in the calibre of police officers being appointed? I think society needs to reflect on their own behaviours before answering that question; as sadly I do not think it is down to just the police! The utter lack of respect for authority as a society depresses me. Everybody has rights and everybody is quick to ensure they are enforced. People need to remember one thing. With these rights they enjoy, comes great responsibility. This is part of the problem. Not all people take responsibility for their actions.

    I remember my community ‘bobby’ in the late 90’s. If you, as a teenager, did not call him Sir or were being disrespectful when being spoken to, it was a clip round the back of the head and a trip home to your parents! His local name was Rambo Roy. Ridiculed and tested by the youth of my town back in the day, but damn well respected!! This is as recent as the late 90’s!!

    I remember being caught smoking when I was 15 (I’m now 30). I had ‘forgotten’ to return to high school in the afternoon. Rambo caught up with several of my friends and me in the park. When questioned about our age and fact we were not at school, my answer was typically cocky and disrespectful. BANG! I clearly remember his response: ‘Who do you think you’re talking to young man?’ I remember how stunned I was. ‘Have I been rude to you…?’ My details went in the book and was escorted to my grandparent’s house to explain my actions. Never did it again!! On the same note, when I saw Rambo a couple of days later whilst walking home from school, he stopped and had a very pleasant conversation with my friends and me. Mutual respect!!

    However this seems to be no longer the case. Sadly more times than not, this cultural shift away from respecting authority and responsibility manifests as violence towards police. This is UNACCEPTABLE. Our Police force was designed to police the populous by consent, NOT force.

    Individuals who aggressively challenge the social norms (disrespecting and attacking the Police) should be punished severely!! To deal with this rising threat, police should be given adequate equipment to protect themselves. Tazer is in my humble opinion, however tragic and controversial, is a viable less lethal force option. It provides maximum protection for officers, with the lowest potential of injury to members of the public. Members of the public complain about their use? Why do they put themselves in a position where a police officer feels it is necessary to deploy it on them? (This lack of responsibility for actions again!)

    My partner and two closest friends are serving police officers. In the 14 months my partner has been authorised to carry tazer, they have drawn it once but never deployed it. (They work response in a midlands city centre.) It is a LAST resort for them. They often comment that they would feel let down with themselves if they have had to draw it. There are common sense conditions in place for the vast majority of police who carry tazer. The training they underwent was very structured, both tactically and psychologically.

    It is a lot of responsibility for any officer to use force, but I’m sorry members of the public have to face the consequences of their actions! You make the choice to oppose lawful requests of a police officer, challenge them physically, why shouldn’t the officer use what ever force they deem necessary to defend themselves? What additional rights to ‘these’ members of the public have to levy abuse at the police and get away with it? They don’t accept it from the police, so why should the police expect it form them? This lack of comprehension for the consequences of actions is heartbreaking!

    Why should my partner and friends have to take threatening and abusive behaviour from members of the public, then have these members of the public not expect any or complain about the consequences? I’m sorry! They have chosen to not uphold the human rights afforded to the human police officer / officers! That is not acceptable! Why would they think it is? These members of the public demand their rights, so show some common respect and decency and uphold the officers’.

    I humbly believe the police are ‘fighting’ a loosing battle when it comes to use of force. Any law abiding citizen has nothing to worry about the police service, regardless of what equipment they are authorised to carry.

    As has been previously stated on this blog, an officer could stike a member of the public with a baton to prevent them or members of the public being injured of killed. THIS method is wrong!

    An officer could spray a suspect with CS Spray to prevent… THIS is wrong!!
    A police officer deploys tazer… THIS is wrong!!
    A police officer deploys their dog… THIS is wrong!!
    A police officer deploys firearms… THIS is wrong!!
    (Are you seeing a pattern?)

    I am waiting for members of the public to realise that aggression or violence, towards fellow human beings, doing their utmost to help others… IS WRONG!!

    Should tazer be rolled out to more officers? Everyone I have spoken to says NO! I agree they shouldn’t be! But every time there is another case of an officer being brutally attacked by a member of the pubic, the case for their deployment is strengthened. If people are concerned about tazer being deployed, then they should modify their behaviour and attitudes before criticising.

    I completely agree that officers who do use excessive force, should be punished. Violence begets violence. Force begets force. Meet force with force is unfortunately a requirement of keeping our officers safe. Should they strive to then lower the level of conflict? I believe they should. Again sadly this is not always the case.

    Finally, government need to address the penalties for anti-social behaviour and aggression. Drunk and disorderly / ABH / GBH / Domestic Violence etc. Currently the sentencing guidelines are not working as a deterrent. If the penalties for committing offences are more severe, actually have more of an impact on the lives of the offenders, could it cause the rate to drop? Could this cause the use of tazer to drop? I don’t believe I am clever enough to answer that question.

    • Ian, that was so well bloody said. I was like a nodding dog the whole way through!

      You’re spot on with the younger generation being different. I’m a couple of years older than you (late 70s) and I too have found the behaviour of youths quite disgusting and repulsive for many years now.
      I have nothing but the utmost respect for the police force (NOT service), and only today received a letter containing a witness statement about a minor car crash for me to fill in, but the ‘official-looking’ envelope and subsequently the Met logo at the top of the covering page had me thinking “Sh*t! What’ve I done?!”

      As I always think, the sniveling Police-hating scum underclass who spout shite such as ‘Kill da feds’ (NB: This isn’t America and we don’t have federal agents), are the same Take A Break-reading lowlifes who don’t hesitate to call 999 if their ex’s new partner sends them threatening texts or messages on Facebook…

      Some suggested reading material for you, if you haven’t already, The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality by Theodore Dalrymple. Fascinating stuff!!

      • NB: Blue Light Syndrome akin to White Coat Syndrome, NOT as in Urban Dictionary’s definition. Didn’t even know that was a thing!!

  18. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something
    that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and
    extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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