Police to trial 50,000-volt stun guns
TVNZ | August 8, 2005
Police claim research has found the use of stun guns on violent offenders reduces the likelihood of injury to all parties.
The 50,000-volt Taser gun - which was used to subdue suspected terrorist Yasin Hassan Omar in London - will be trialled for one year starting in 2006.
The gun works by firing out two electrodes that are attached to 6.4 metre conductive wires. When the gun's triggered the barbed electrodes are launched into the air and attach onto clothes.
The 50,000-volts travel down the wires causing muscles to contract uncontrollably.
However, the human rights group Amnesty International says in the US up to 70 deaths have been linked to the use of Tasers.
They are calling for an independent inquiry into their medical effects. Until then the weapons shouldn't be introduced in New Zealand, the group says.
But police say the deaths were caused by pre-existing medical conditions and the proposed trial is based on comprehensive information from overseas health experts.