back to article Tasing of unarmed opposition peaks among firearms cops

The latest Home Office figures show Taser usage by English and Welsh police firearms teams in non-firearms situations has peaked. However, overall plods' usage is up as the weapons are being more widely issued. Two categories of coppers carry the stun guns: Authorised firearms officers (AFOs), and specially-trained ordinary …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

"Drive stun" contact zappings

Not being familiar with the things, is it possible to prove that the taser has been used like this?

Should one be bundled into the van, driven up in t'hills and zapped repeatedly. After recovering would there be any proof that they'd done it?

The old fashioned kicking always required a modicum of imagination to explain away the blood..

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Yep its all logged

Its logged and downloaded when back at the nick. Using the tazer creates far too much paper work so it back to a good old fashion kicking.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

burns

JonB: burn marks on the skin, plus a depleted tazer are the result.

0
0

When will we realize...

...if it can be abused, if there is ANY oppotunity for misuse, it will be.

It's about time we learned that and realized that we're about to give away the last vestiges of our most basic freedoms.

0
0
Sam

@JonB

A proper summary judgement never broke the skin..(I grew up around Coppers).

What do you want, sheeple? An arsehole who gets a worthless talking to and thinks he's immortal, and ends up killing an old lady, or a scrote who won't do it again because his joints hurt every time it rains?

Your choice.

0
0
Heart

www.Excited-Delirium.com

The problems start when the police start believing the manufacturer's propaganda that these devices are "safe" (with respect to internal risk factors such as cardiac effects). Not 'safer than guns', but "safer than Tylenol". Then the overuse, misuse and abuse starts to creep up.

Wasn't there an incident in the UK where a man in a diabetic coma was tasered because he failed to obey police direction? In the USA recently, a young lad with a broken back was similarly tasered 19 times. There are many similar examples.

And YES the manufacturer is also to blame because they control the recommended training, influence policy, and fail to speak-out against such incidents.

There have been several recent incidents in North America where a young and healthy, non-excited, non-delirious person is tasered and almost immediately dies of cardiac failure (no drugs, no preexisting conditions). Autopsy reports are very slow in coming because the device leaves ZERO internal footprints (other than the lack of pulse). Taser admits no such risk.

In some parts of North America, tasers are used at a rate roughly one-hundred times the historical rate of police gun fire. This varies widely, but the ratio is way more than ten.

0
0
Pirate

Set rhetoric to "stun"

These figures are shocking, shocking. Certainly the plods can "forget" to report a tazing, and there might be no proof to support the filthy little chav who complains. At least gunfire results in spent shell casings, wounds, blood, and chemical residues.

Anon. Cow. in case the law is watching.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

TV prog

There was one of those "follow the fuzz" shows on about a month or so ago. It showed a guy stood at a bus stop, who they believed was an armed robber and may be carrying fire arms. Due to this risk they zapped him without the guy doing anything, he didn't even get any warning.

It was all then glossed over as being fantastic as in the old days they may of had to shoot him.

Oh forgot to mention, he was innocent and unarmed, but that's a minor issue. The great news was how great the tazer was because they could just mearly cause him a huge amount of pain, instead of shooting him, so that's OK.

PS it was a UK show.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Taser death

If they don't put monitors and limiters in them, the inevitable will happen and I hope the police and Taser corp get their nasty asses sued when it does:

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/7/24/police_accused_of_coverup_in_taser

"He died in police custody on January 21 after being shot nine times with a taser gun while in handcuffs. The city police chief initially claimed that Pikes was high on crack cocaine and PCP at the time of his death. But the coroner recently ruled Pikes’ death to be a homicide, after an autopsy determined there were no drugs in his system."

You can't have a situation where a taser is fired multiple times in quick succession, or where the police can deny the number of times it was used. There is nothing stopping Taser limiting the number of repeat firings or adding a recording of when it was fired, and how many times.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

re: "Drive stun"

I think the taser has an integrated audit log that allows the use of it to be examined afterwards.

0
0
Coat

I'm with eddy

How long till we get reports of the fuzz 'happy zapping' tourists who have done the unthinkable crime of carrying a camara around London.

*\. Mines the one with the illegal tazer in the pocket, "get them before they get you in'it!"

0
0

STU???

What idiot thinks up these acronyms? *I'd* be trigger-happy if if was lumbered with a label like that.

@Sam: "Your choice."??? Dunno about you, maybe you're psychic, but I wasn't aware anyone could spot future thugs just by looking at them.

0
0
Coat

@Sam

Those the same arseholes in the police uniforms?

*\. Mines the one that already off, so some midget with an attitude can search it for no other reason than he is bored and I was minding my own bussiness! so why tf not!

0
0

Taser standard procedures

Lets face it Tase 1st ask questions later is the new "Standard Procedure"

I always politely co-operate with the police, but have found that they can be unreasonable bullies when they want with no ramifications.

Here is a charming story of a standard procedure: tasing the bride and groom at their wedding after hauling away the grooms elderly dad to jail....

http://www.durangoherald.com/asp-bin/article_generation.asp?article_type=news&article_path=/news/08/news080724_3.htm

0
0

Cold Comfort

When will we realize------

I am sure that your noble sentiments and those of our like minded critics of armed and semi armed (for that is what tasers are) police will be of great comfort to the families of the two women police officers used for targets by the bastards in the robbery that they were sent to, and also to the family of the officer murdered by the North American git last year in the North of England. I can think of no other country in the world where people regularly risk their lives with so little protection. Its a shit world, and unfortunately we are all stuck in it. Let's hope the plods get a few more scrotes and make us a bit safer.

Gary

0
0

@Sam

Yes Sam, those are the only two possibilities.

Actually, I could probably do with a random beating myself - it's only a matter of time before I murder someone. Could anyone oblige? Come quick, I'm feeling innocent ...

0
0

hmmmm

@ "What do you want, sheeple? An arsehole who gets a worthless talking to and thinks he's immortal, and ends up killing an old lady, or a scrote who won't do it again because his joints hurt every time it rains?" - but its been proved time and time again we cannot trust that most racist institution, the police.

i wont even begin to list all their dodgy behavior but the fact is they cannot be trusted.

@ "Let's hope the plods get a few more scrotes and make us a bit safer." - what happens when some of tyh

0
0

Facts not fiction

Kids,

The Taser, in use by the filth in the UK, is carried in a state of readiness or 'patrol state'. You don't want to be fumbling, attaching the cartridge on the business end when it all goes tits up. Therefore the reported 'arcing up' is bollocks, it wouldn't happen even in Register World. If the thing is pointed at someone then they can be 'lit up' with the laser point, which I am told resolves most incidents without recourse to firing the Taser. It is the SOP to test fire it without the cartridge attached at the start of every shift and every firing of the Taser is logged in its internal memory.

If Tommy the Scrote reports that he has been 'Tasered', or even shouted at a bit loud then there will be a record of it in a statement or somewhere. Many custody staff are not police officers and many police officers are, probably quite rightly, looking out for number one so if Mr Scrote says he's been zapped then there are procedures in place. They are set down in law etc. Yes, shit does happen but usually to someone that deserves it. The police can never win where there is uninformed nonsense being written. The borders between the U.S and U.K seem to be getting very blurred here so we'd better call it Register Land where all coppers are bastards and will taser their own mothers to get promotion.

0
0

@ Sam

"What do you want, sheeple? An arsehole who gets a worthless talking to and thinks he's immortal,"

No I don't want that as then the arsehole thinks he can go and taser another 15yr old for being 'cheeky'.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Cold Comfort

"I am sure that your noble sentiments and those of our like minded critics of armed and semi armed (for that is what tasers are) police will be of great comfort to the families of the two women police officers used for targets by the bastards in the robbery that they were sent to, and also to the family of the officer murdered by the North American git last year in the North of England."

If Tasing other people (who didn't kill the officers) to death fixes that, then fair enough. We'll just taser those family members to death and everything will be right with the world. OK?

Isn't it always the same, they wheel out the victim's family and then try to justify some extreme choice that only someone, twisted by grief, would think is a good idea!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@Sam

Call me old fashioned, but I want due process and a police force that knows that its job doesn't extend to judiciary proceedings. Although that's already gone with fixed penalties.

Glad to hear it's got an audit trail, these things seem preferable to the big stick they've been hitting people with before.

@Gary

Re: Safety of Police

It takes more than a gun to keep you safe. If I were to be a police officer, I'd rather be one without a gun in the UK than with a gun in the US.

0
0
Unhappy

armed police = armed criminals

armed police = armed criminals, and the death of innocent people who get in the way.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Facts not fiction

>Register Land where all coppers are bastards and will taser their own mothers to get promotion.

I've seen them at work, they are bastards - at least the ones that I've seen. Being law abiding though, you only see the bastards.

It's not a promotion mindset, it's tribal, an affront to another officer or the force in general is an affront to them all. They consider the group to be more important than the individual, all well and good, but if you're not a cop you're not in the group.

0
0
Flame

@Edward

> It's about time we learned that and realized that we're about to give away the last vestiges of our most basic freedoms.

Ah, yes, that beloved centuries-old and golden freedom to kick the shit out of the poor old police officer that tries to lock you up when you're pissed and fighting-mad with a bottle in your hand...

0
0
Flame

@JonB

> Call me old fashioned, but I want due process and a police force that knows that its job doesn't extend to judiciary proceedings. Although that's already gone with fixed penalties.

Wonderful... it's marvellous when an uninformed critic manages to demonstrate their own ignorance of a subject, so as to warn their audience that the speaker doesn't know what they are talking about.

A fixed penalty is exactly that... if paid, it gives the person to whom it's issued a defence in law to prosecution, i.e. he or she cannot be convicted of the original offence alleged.

If, for any reason, he/she doesn't accept that they are guilty of the alleged offence, they simply return the tear-off slip asking for a hearing, and then they are prosecuted in the usual way - that's the system for all fixed penalties in England & Wales, traffic or non-traffic. Penalty Charge Notices (usually issued by local authorities) work in exactly the same way, except for the fact that the proceedings are civil proceedings in the County Court allocated to the Small Claims Track. There's also a statutory Parking Adjudicator, but that's more complex and probably not relevant here.

So, JonB, FFS please engage brain before mouth, not the other way round... :-(

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@AC : Fixed penalties

>If, for any reason, he/she doesn't accept that they are guilty of the

>alleged offence, they simply return the tear-off slip asking for a hearing, and

>then they are prosecuted in the usual way

How stupid do you think people are? Of course we know we can go to court to contest a fixed penalty, you can appeal a court conviction.

But if I am simply handed a fixed penalty no matter how innocent I may be. I would be mad to go to court - the costs, even of a successful defence, would massively outweigh the fixed penalty. Except in the rare circumstance where the defence is very simple and even then I have to take time off work for the court case, which again will cost me more than a fixed penalty.

So, now you see why I didn't elaborate,

a) Because all of those who have had fixed penalties understand this.

b) It's rather lengthy for an aside isn't it.

By the way, are you a copper? If so, your attitude shows the very point I was making.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: STU???

I've no idea what that means but I read it a few times as STFUs.

0
0
Dead Vulture

@armed police = armed criminals

the criminals who're willing to start arming themselves are generally armed already, and with considerably more dangerous kit than a silly taser.

besides, if the penalty for carrying the weapon is that much higher than the penalty for the crime you're planning on committing, getting tooled up isn't such an appealing prospect anymore.

the problem is how and when stun weapons are used, not that the police have access to them.

because nobody's mentioned it so far: DON'T TAZE ME BRO!!!!

0
0

Downhill all the way

The police are not best placed to set a civilised standard of behaviour. That has always been the unspoken assumption in the argument against arming UK police. But the police are well placed to set an uncivilised one. This assumption should no longer be left unspoken, or glossed over - for example, in some presumed right to preemptive exercise of force during arrest. For once the snowball has started to roll, as here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4360315.ece, it will surely lead to heads appearing on sticks. The wrong heads.

0
0
Stop

Wake up people

I have several friends that are cops here in the states. The reality, which most people want to ignore, is that they deal with a LOT of bad guys. The mere threat of stun keeps them out of hand-to-hand most of the time. And, btw, to use a taser here, you MUST get shot by one so you know what it feels like.

It's easy to count the number of tases - but irrelleveant. What needs to be compared is the number of dust-ups vs the number of tases over the course of time. This idea that bad guys come along peacefully most of the time is just stupid. I don't believe most of these BS stories about people getting tased for no reason. Hardly ever happens.

The option normally is a tase or a dust-up. Tase them. Cops have it hard enough already.

0
0
Stop

Given that carrying a knife supposedly makes you more likley to get stabbed...

...does it not follow that carrying a gun will make you more likely to get shot?

If someone could dig up the statistics for the number of gun carrying police officers who get shot in the USA, and compare to the number of non-gun carrying police officers in the UK, would it support my theory?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@AC : Gun stats.

>If someone could dig up the statistics for the number of gun carrying

>police officers who get shot in the USA, and compare to the number of

>non-gun carrying police officers in the UK, would it support my theory?

Nah, because of the well armed militia over there the citizens will be helping out the police with their own guns, because no-one in the UK carries a gun except criminals then the police will get shot much more frequently.

0
0
Happy

@JonB

> But if I am simply handed a fixed penalty no matter how innocent I may be. I would be mad to go to court - the costs, even of a successful defence, would massively outweigh the fixed penalty. Except in the rare circumstance where the defence is very simple and even then I have to take time off work for the court case, which again will cost me more than a fixed penalty.

So... your argument is that fixed penalties should be done away with, so that instead of being given a fixed penalty, you get prosecuted instead, so that THEN you can plead "not guilty"? Errmmm... and how does that represent any financial saving (or even a different option at all to a request for a hearing in lieu of the fixed penalty) over what you describe above?

Logically, your argument is therefore "I don't like fixed penalties, because they remove my opportunity to plead not guilty and incur exactly the same expenses and time off work as if I requested a Court hearing for a fixed penalty"... ?????

> But if I am simply handed a fixed penalty no matter how innocent I may be. I would be mad to go to court

What's your estimate of the proportion of innocent people given a fixed penalty notice, compared to "all people given a fixed penalty notice"? 100%? 99.9%? Really, I'm interested in your estimate! And if you don't pay the fixed penalty, you don't get tasered, either... (relevance to the thread!)

It would be a useful exercise for you to identify the hordes of predatory public officials who issue fixed penalties to completely innocent people, with neither the evidence to support the allegation, nor any heed for the fact that said innocent party can apply for a Court hearing - where it is open to the magistrates to make a costs order against the prosecuting authority if applied for by an acquitted defendant (I note that you don't mention this in your response). Don't you think that these hundreds of thousands of miscarriages of justice might eventually attract some judicial comment, or be the subject of concern from elected representatives?

The whole point of the process is to allow anyone who agrees that they've committed an offence to pay the fixed penalty instead of being prosecuted, and thereby to avoid exactly the expense and time off work to attend Court that you yourself list in your original comment. The fact that a very small proportion of the general population has a problem with the fixed penalty system, notwithstanding that it's a legitimate enforcement tactic, approved by Parliament and avoided by all those who don't offend in the first place, is rather sad - and, I should add, tough titty. Anyone who thinks they are innocent, can go to Court. Jeez, it couldn't be any simpler or fairer!

Your beef sounds like sour grapes or an extremist rant, to me. The rest of us are just grateful that our hard-earned pay, from which we are regularly parted by excessive taxation, isn't wasted on pointless Court administration for numpties who are angry at themselves for getting caught (speeding, or whatever) in the first place (and can't afford First Class justice = acquittal, a la Nick Freeman, but that's another story...). Yes, I'm a police officer, and I'm not clairvoyant, but I will bet that you're NOT a police officer, and that you've been the recipient of a fixed penalty... don't ask me how I do it, though! :-)

> How stupid do you think people are?

Well, as you've asked, *most* people aren't, but there are high-profile exceptions every now and then... :-)

0
0

Hows that again?

armed police = armed criminals, and the death of innocent people who get in the way.

Not quite with you on this one. This has been trotted out for yonks, and still gun crime figures escalate and police are NOT armed on a100 per cent daily basis. (Totally off topic,but is it not unfair to defend a minority? Just wondered.) I think the poster on my former gun club wall said it best. "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." And so it has come to pass.

Gary

0
0
Anonymous Coward

re: Facts not Fiction etc. etc. @ JonB

You are a cock and you do post bollocks.

You have conveniently misqouted the comment by The Voice of Reason.

I think the point being raised was that if you, as a copper, drop a bollock - in other words do some wrong, there is nowhere to hide, these days.

Someone will drop you in it. It happens and should happen.

Now like JonB I am probably talking out of my arse but here we go. Taser is being deployed much more often these days. That does not mean it is being used (discharged). For a force the size of my own, half a dozen deployments a day is quite common. Actual firing of it in the last 3 years is virtually non-existent. At present it is only carried by firearms officers but more often than not it is deployed instead of firearms. This is because the person to whom they are attending is deemed too naughty to be dealt with by conventional means but not naughty enough to risk 'stopping' him with a gun.

The options open to me are firearm, Taser, Captor spray, autolock baton or shouting loudly. Every incident I attend I have to consider which one I may have to use. Someday it might be the wrong choice, if it's the Taser that is used then it's a lot less likely to end up with someone dead than if it was the firearm.

0
0
Flame

Tools! of the trade

"most basic freedoms"

Oh don't talk nonsense. Police use force on people who are violent. Its a fact of life. And you know what, the police isn't made up of Jackie Chans. They may get it wrong but you can bet your arse there'll be questions to answer. The tinfoil hats may not believe it but the UK police is very closely scrutinised.

So if it were YOU and its a choice between getting in a wrestling match you might lose with someone twice your size who is quite keen to smash your face in and you're armed with a small stick and a taser, which would you pick?

Its a tool, it has its place. If used the right way its very effective and reduces the risk of anyone (including the person its used on) getting hurt.

"In some parts of North America, tasers are used at a rate roughly one-hundred times the historical rate of police gun fire. This varies widely, but the ratio is way more than ten."

Assuming you're not just making stats up, a big ask, Are the rates of death by taser 100 times the historical rate of police gun fire? It may look like a gun but it ISN'T a gun any more than CS or Pava spray is.

@ JonB

"Call me old fashioned, but I want due process and a police force that knows that its job doesn't extend to judiciary proceedings. Although that's already gone with fixed penalties."

So you say you don't want fixed penalties because you want due process by going to court. But you don't want to go to court for minor offenses because it'll cost more than it would to pay the fixed penalty? Riiiiight. Think you might want to think that through a bit more.

How about if you were offered the options of:

Report to the courts

A fixed penalty

A 5 second taser and we'll say no more

I wonder how many people would opt for the quick pain rather than a fine? :D

0
0
Joke

taser shootout - only in the USA

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20080519/ai_n25464947 Just as well Joe Public doesn't have access to these or you could see more of this. An OK Corral shootout over parking.

0
0
Heart

Taser stats

The biggest safety factor with the X26 taser appears to be the random dart placement. By my reckoning, once the darts hit the chest, the death rate is something like 5%. Yes, 5%. This is based on 2007 data for the RCMP (just one police force) in the Canadian province of British Columbia. About 500 taser deployments ('replacement for the gun' my ass). And then normalizing out the non-deployment deployments, the touch-torture modes, the misses, etc. This leaves something like 25 taser chest hits in that data set and either one or two deaths (debate rages). Do the math, 5% risk of death. Same rough answer pops out elsewhere. It wouldn't be an issue if Taser would admit it (pay the penalties for lying^H^H^H^H^H being wrong) and then structure the training accordingly

0
0
n
Black Helicopters

multi-cops or swat.............no torture weapons.

people in favour of tasers being used for pre-judicial torture say that it is a choice between 1 cop with a taser or 1 cop with a stick, so of course a taser in this case is safer FOR THE COP.

what they don't say is that 5 cops against 1 unarmed violent man is ALOT better for all concerned.

Tasers are a cheap way to send an officer alone to domestics, minor incidents, etc.

The real solution should be 5 officers for 1 unarmed suspect with swat backup if the suspect is waving a gun/knife around.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums