New police report highlights use of Tasers

The Taser is an integral part of the police force’s arsenal

The Taser is an integral part of the police force’s arsenal

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Health Reporter

EACH time police use a Taser it should be robustly justified, according to a new Independ-ent Police Complaints Comm-ission (IPCC) report.

Guidelines for using the 50,000 volt Tasers state that officers may use the weapon ‘when faced with violence or threats of violence of such severity that force is needed to protect the public, themselves or the individual concerned’.

The new report follows an IPCC review of complaints and incidents relating to Taser use from 2004 to 2013.

There have been a number of controversial cases in East Lancs involving use of the stun guns Earlier this year the IPCC looked at complaints made following the use of a Taser on two different men in Burnley Police Station’s Parker Lane custody suite in July and September, 2012.

In both instances, Lancashire police said the men presented a risk of violence to officers while they tried to carry out strip searches.

In the July incident, a man had been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated assault before refusing a strip search.

He was Tasered by an authorised officer after threat-ening to fight anyone who tried to remove his underwear.

In the September incident, officers had arrested a drunk man on suspicion of numerous driving offences. While sear-ching him they found a blade and he refused a strip search after officers suspected he may have been concealing other items.

He was Tasered after officers described him becoming ‘extremely volatile’.

In another incident which made global headlines, blind pensioner Colin Farmer was hit with the weapon in Chorley, when an officer mistook his white stick for a Samurai sword.

IPCC recommended forces should guard against it being over-used.

National policing lead for Taser, commander Neil Basu, said: “The UK police have introduced its use into policing with great care.”

Comments (11)

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4:33pm Wed 23 Jul 14

vicn1956 says...

Some need training to know the difference between a white stick and a samurai sword.
Some need training to know the difference between a white stick and a samurai sword. vicn1956
  • Score: 8

5:16pm Wed 23 Jul 14

The Seagull has landed says...

I'm usually a staunch supporter of the cops but the blind guy incident was shocking (no pun intended)
I can't believe the cop in question kept his job.
I'm usually a staunch supporter of the cops but the blind guy incident was shocking (no pun intended) I can't believe the cop in question kept his job. The Seagull has landed
  • Score: 5

5:40pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Graham Hartley says...

The Seagull has landed wrote:
I'm usually a staunch supporter of the cops but the blind guy incident was shocking (no pun intended)
I can't believe the cop in question kept his job.
There's some chance that this fellow will be promoted. Cressida Dick is the most senior female police officer in Britain, also holding the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service. Yet in 2005 she was the officer in charge of an operation which led to the killing by armed officers of the innocent Jean Charles de Menezes, wrongly identified as a bomber.

For a police officer, being in charge of such obviously poor operations isn't an indelible stain upon one's chances of promotion. Odd, that.
[quote][p][bold]The Seagull has landed[/bold] wrote: I'm usually a staunch supporter of the cops but the blind guy incident was shocking (no pun intended) I can't believe the cop in question kept his job.[/p][/quote]There's some chance that this fellow will be promoted. Cressida Dick is the most senior female police officer in Britain, also holding the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service. Yet in 2005 she was the officer in charge of an operation which led to the killing by armed officers of the innocent Jean Charles de Menezes, wrongly identified as a bomber. For a police officer, being in charge of such obviously poor operations isn't an indelible stain upon one's chances of promotion. Odd, that. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 6

6:15pm Wed 23 Jul 14

The Seagull has landed says...

And by all accounts there was nothing whatsoever controversial about the 2 taser deployments in tge custody are at Burnley. The IPCC concluded that on both occasions it's use was justified, necessary and proportionate.

And plus, it was used on 2 complete and utter human scumbags so no issues there.
And by all accounts there was nothing whatsoever controversial about the 2 taser deployments in tge custody are at Burnley. The IPCC concluded that on both occasions it's use was justified, necessary and proportionate. And plus, it was used on 2 complete and utter human scumbags so no issues there. The Seagull has landed
  • Score: -2

7:44pm Wed 23 Jul 14

noddy57 says...

Its simple really" If people obeyed the law the police would not need to use it..
Its simple really" If people obeyed the law the police would not need to use it.. noddy57
  • Score: 0

10:01pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Graham Hartley says...

It's commonly put to to us that we must trust the police, follow instructions given by officers, obey the law. This last advice was aggrandised by the last Labour government, which gave us some 3500 new laws. Who can take the risk of claiming to have broken no law? Not even Jesus in his rather short heyday could manage that.

In our dealings with police officers and indeed other authority figures we cannot know their reputations. When another appears in the news for some failing, the hackneyed response is that a bad apple has been found. One wonders how many lie hidden. In some dystopian state with say thirty percent of authority figures corrupted, what trust remains? This is the position in some comfortingly far parts of the world. Yet be young, black, male, live in one of this country's major cities... how does it look for you?
It's commonly put to to us that we must trust the police, follow instructions given by officers, obey the law. This last advice was aggrandised by the last Labour government, which gave us some 3500 new laws. Who can take the risk of claiming to have broken no law? Not even Jesus in his rather short heyday could manage that. In our dealings with police officers and indeed other authority figures we cannot know their reputations. When another appears in the news for some failing, the hackneyed response is that a bad apple has been found. One wonders how many lie hidden. In some dystopian state with say thirty percent of authority figures corrupted, what trust remains? This is the position in some comfortingly far parts of the world. Yet be young, black, male, live in one of this country's major cities... how does it look for you? Graham Hartley
  • Score: -1

11:34pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Lancslad01 says...

Graham Hartley wrote:
It's commonly put to to us that we must trust the police, follow instructions given by officers, obey the law. This last advice was aggrandised by the last Labour government, which gave us some 3500 new laws. Who can take the risk of claiming to have broken no law? Not even Jesus in his rather short heyday could manage that.

In our dealings with police officers and indeed other authority figures we cannot know their reputations. When another appears in the news for some failing, the hackneyed response is that a bad apple has been found. One wonders how many lie hidden. In some dystopian state with say thirty percent of authority figures corrupted, what trust remains? This is the position in some comfortingly far parts of the world. Yet be young, black, male, live in one of this country's major cities... how does it look for you?
already underway
[quote][p][bold]Graham Hartley[/bold] wrote: It's commonly put to to us that we must trust the police, follow instructions given by officers, obey the law. This last advice was aggrandised by the last Labour government, which gave us some 3500 new laws. Who can take the risk of claiming to have broken no law? Not even Jesus in his rather short heyday could manage that. In our dealings with police officers and indeed other authority figures we cannot know their reputations. When another appears in the news for some failing, the hackneyed response is that a bad apple has been found. One wonders how many lie hidden. In some dystopian state with say thirty percent of authority figures corrupted, what trust remains? This is the position in some comfortingly far parts of the world. Yet be young, black, male, live in one of this country's major cities... how does it look for you?[/p][/quote]already underway Lancslad01
  • Score: 1

11:57pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

Slowly but surely your freedoms are being eroded. Think very carefully what is happening around you.
Slowly but surely your freedoms are being eroded. Think very carefully what is happening around you. Michael@ClitheroeSince58
  • Score: 1

8:02am Thu 24 Jul 14

glossopkid says...

Graham Hartley wrote:
It's commonly put to to us that we must trust the police, follow instructions given by officers, obey the law. This last advice was aggrandised by the last Labour government, which gave us some 3500 new laws. Who can take the risk of claiming to have broken no law? Not even Jesus in his rather short heyday could manage that.

In our dealings with police officers and indeed other authority figures we cannot know their reputations. When another appears in the news for some failing, the hackneyed response is that a bad apple has been found. One wonders how many lie hidden. In some dystopian state with say thirty percent of authority figures corrupted, what trust remains? This is the position in some comfortingly far parts of the world. Yet be young, black, male, live in one of this country's major cities... how does it look for you?
Well commented mate .
[quote][p][bold]Graham Hartley[/bold] wrote: It's commonly put to to us that we must trust the police, follow instructions given by officers, obey the law. This last advice was aggrandised by the last Labour government, which gave us some 3500 new laws. Who can take the risk of claiming to have broken no law? Not even Jesus in his rather short heyday could manage that. In our dealings with police officers and indeed other authority figures we cannot know their reputations. When another appears in the news for some failing, the hackneyed response is that a bad apple has been found. One wonders how many lie hidden. In some dystopian state with say thirty percent of authority figures corrupted, what trust remains? This is the position in some comfortingly far parts of the world. Yet be young, black, male, live in one of this country's major cities... how does it look for you?[/p][/quote]Well commented mate . glossopkid
  • Score: 1

6:32pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Was Hingma Chine says...

Strong condemnation of officers' actions appears in the official report - see extracts below.

"Among the initial concerns of the IPCC was that Taser had been used by officers in the custody suite to gain compliance; to make detainees who had refused to take off their clothes do what they were told. The guidance that is issued to forces says this must never happen. Taser is not something that should be used to make people follow police orders as a matter of convenience."

"Police officers and staff must be aware of they way they interact with members of the public. Any inappropriate comments or behaviour, including laughter after Taser has been used, has the potential to undermine public confidence in the police. This is all the more so in areas of heightened sensitivity or concern such as Taser use."

from the Commissioner’s foreword

IPCC investigations into use of Taser
at a Lancashire custody suite
Strong condemnation of officers' actions appears in the official report - see extracts below. "Among the initial concerns of the IPCC was that Taser had been used by officers in the custody suite to gain compliance; to make detainees who had refused to take off their clothes do what they were told. The guidance that is issued to forces says this must never happen. Taser is not something that should be used to make people follow police orders as a matter of convenience." "Police officers and staff must be aware of they way they interact with members of the public. Any inappropriate comments or behaviour, including laughter after Taser has been used, has the potential to undermine public confidence in the police. This is all the more so in areas of heightened sensitivity or concern such as Taser use." from the Commissioner’s foreword IPCC investigations into use of Taser at a Lancashire custody suite Was Hingma Chine
  • Score: 1

7:39pm Tue 29 Jul 14

Graham Hartley says...

We're always on the beat, you'll see us standing guard on every street
If things upset you there's no need to worry or frown
Ask a policeman and he won't let you down

from the song On The Beat performed by George Formby 1940
We're always on the beat, you'll see us standing guard on every street If things upset you there's no need to worry or frown Ask a policeman and he won't let you down from the song On The Beat performed by George Formby 1940 Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

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