August 18, 2009
[efoods]Police use of Taser stun guns has increased by nearly a third, figures revealed today.
Officers fired the electro-shock weapons 226 times in the first three months of this year – up from 174 in the last three months of 2008.
The sharp rise followed the decision to allow forces in England and Wales to give Tasers to officers who do not carry traditional firearms.
Critics said the 50,000-volt guns were in danger of becoming “standard issue”.
But Police Minister David Hanson said the weapons helped save lives by defusing dangerous situations.
He said: “I am determined to give police all the tools they need to crack down on violent crime.
“Tasers are a vital tool for our frontline officers and that is why we allowed forces to issue them to specially-trained units.