Taser increase will help Sussex Police tackle violent situations

From Monday, Sussex Police will be joining other forces around the country in allowing some specially trained non-firearms officers to be able to use Taser.

Previously Sussex Police was one of a small number of forces which restricted the use of Taser to authorised firearms officers only.

Taser demonstration, Sussex Police

Taser demonstration, Sussex Police

Taser is an electroshock weapon. It uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles.

After monitoring other forces who allow non-firearms officers to carry Taser Sussex Police will be rolling its use out to some other officers who have received special training.

Around 160 officers from local response and support teams have now received, or are receiving, training to use Taser in situations where there is a real threat of violence. This means around eight per cent of police officers in the Force will be trained in the use of Taser, compared to the national average of around 11.5 per cent.

Once trained, the officers will be available to deploy with Taser to support colleagues dealing with violent or threatening situations and will reduce the number of times armed response units are deployed.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison of Sussex Police’s Operations Department said: “Experience shows that simply the presence of Taser acts as a deterrent to the escalation of violence. Nearly 70 per cent of incidents where there is a possibility of using Taser end without it being discharged.

Studies have also shown that the presence of Taser reduces the levels of force required by officers in violent situations avoiding, for example, the use of a baton or captor.