Essex Police announce force is increasing number of officers trained to use Tasers


- Credit: Archant

The number of Essex Police officers trained to use Taser devices will more than double, the force has announced today.

Around 70 officers are currently trained to use Tasers, but 92 more, including 23 police dog handlers, will undergo training on the devices, with a further 41 to follow after a review.

In an independent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), published last year, the force’s use of Tasers was said to be “fair, lawful and proportionate”.

Roll-out of the Taser device training will begin immmediately.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “A small but determined number of criminals and gangs are intent on bringing violence and fear to our streets. We are winning that battle, but every day I ask my officers to run towards danger and use force to confront those threats when assaults against them are on the rise.

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“This weekend alone one officer was punched and another suffered arm injuries making an arrest. I simply won’t tolerate that and I know the public don’t either.”

“More well-trained officers able to use Tasers make communities and the people who protect them safer and I need the public to know that we will use all the tools at our disposal to take violent crime off our streets.”

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PC Ashleigh Watkinson, who is trained to use Tasers, said “Every time I prepare to use a Taser I need to be sure of the justification for it.

“I’ve had comprehensive training so I can use Tasers to keep the public safe in violent or dangerous situations.

“I’ve been confronted by people with knives, baseball bats and other weapons, so being trained to use a Taser keeps me safe, but more importantly helps our communities to be safer too.”

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