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.”