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back to article Home Office to hand out more Tasers to police

The Home Office has announced plans to issue Taser electric stunguns much more widely across the police services of England and Wales. Once plans are complete, approximately 20 per cent of officers south of the border will be authorised to carry the weapons. Home Office Minister Alan Campbell told the BBC this morning that the …

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Coat

One in five officers to be trained

And the other four to blunder on anyway?

Mine's the one with the mesh lining...

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Unhappy

So glad

I left the country. Just wish my children would do the same.

Ex-policeman.

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Can we therefore expect...

...more unconcious diabetics to be tasered?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7096456.stm

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Anonymous Coward

Question

Is it legal for a citizen to own a taser in the UK?

If it is, I'm OK with regular officers having them too.

If it isn't, then they can do without.

Especially given how the US police seem to keep using them.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah!

"Home Office Minister Alan Campbell told the BBC this morning that the police did not use Tasers lightly."

Do some real damage!

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Black Helicopters

Well

It's probably easier than training them to actually prevent/solve crimes.

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About that NYPD action.

"Nobody commits suicide on my watch", said the officer, before tasering the suspect to death.

Yeah... not funny.

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Anonymous Coward

Strict rules on usage eh?

Like: "Do what I tell you or I'm gonna taser ya"?

Even if I'm in the right and you're an ignorant numty with a uniform?

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Anonymous Coward

Mission Creep

Notice the mission creep. Tasers were to be used as a non lethal replacement for guns. Then that was changed 'less' lethal, then it was given to unarmed officers, so it could be used in other situations, now more.

I'd expect it to be issued to Plastic Policemen soon enough, then to those civilians who were given special police powers by 'Sir' Ian Blair, then to traffic wardens, security guards, local busy bodies, NuLabour apatchniks, Bus Drivers to ensure bus fairs are paid, anyone in any charity that wants to seem more self important, women to prevent 'rape', black people to prevent racial abuse, car park attendants at Tescos & McDonalds who currently get computer access to the DVLA databases, anyone in local government....

Once you put a frightened old woman in charge of the Home Office, *everyone* not wearing a high visibility jacket is a potential threat to law and order and everyone with a claim to officialdom gets the attack weapons.

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So now it's just a question of how long

until they get used to keep those awful terrorists who protest without a license away from Westminster.

Because a placard is a dangerous weapon.

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Paris Hilton

Welcome to the Judge Dredd era

Remember kids your only 5 GCSE's away from walking the streets, wearing Kevlar and frying the bad guys with a stun gun! and with no comeback judging by the De Menezes prequel that the diabetic up north went through.

Paris, as she's to bright to qualify for the training programme.

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Black Helicopters

I know I'm a bore, but

Every plod, plastic plod and "civil enforcement" 3rd removed plod-lite should have "always on" plodcams - with the data retained by an independent civil liberties office.

It's the only way to ensure that the growing army of armed and trigger (or even fine) happy "officials" can be held to account when (not if) they decide to frazzle some law abiding subject going about their business but unfortunate enough to know their rights.

I have friends who are cops, and my father was one (military and civil) for over 40 years. They have a hard job, and taking down a psychotic meth-head with a syringe full of aids infected blood is never going to be a pretty sight; at least with a tazer chances are all concerned will come out less injured.

It's the f*ckwit Dirty Harry wannabe power-drunk micro phallus'd imbeciles who still end up in uniform who frighten me. The ones who will undoubtedly abuse the device, just as they've been abused in the US and Canada.

Mouthy student breaking no laws, but annoying plod when he'd rather be in the staff canteen? F*ck him, zapp.

Disoriented individual with mental health issues? F*ck him, zapp.

Heckler at Labour Party conference?? "Hey dude, you don't need to hgnnnnaaargh!!!"

Protesting about a new coal power station\nuke\arms fair etc? Ooh, zappity zapp zap all round (after some "agent provocateur" action of course).

What I've seen on YouTube re: tazer often appears to be lazy or intellectually challenged cops resorting to the use of "human cattle prods" to ensure compliance when they neither had the right or necessity to use it.

If they hadn't had the tazer, would they have used a firearm? No.

Nightstick\baton\CS Spray? Usually not - as often the tazer was used merely to shut someone up or get them to "comply" rather than tackle a clearly violent individual. I remember the video of the guy pulled over for speeding. He was shot in the back, inches from a busy road, for not "complying instantly" with a pr1ck of a cop's aggressive and unreasonable demands. The only advantage has been in the US\Canada - some of these abuses *have* been recorded and *have* ended up on YouTube.

Britain already has 24/7 State surveillance. Time that the "on duty" actions of Britain's "officers of the law" were monitored in full as well. If they say they need human cattle prods, then lets have the video evidence - and that evidence held independently and available under FOI.

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Black Helicopters

Tasers are classed as a firearm in the UK

@ AC. Tasers are classed as a firearm in the UK, it is not legal for anyone not authorised to have one to even own one, never mind carry it.

@AC re- Mission Creep. Mission creep is the way everything seems to get done these days, lull the public into acceptance then gradually use the new device or technology to a level that is a little above oppressive. Speed cameras, CCTV, ANPR, ID Cards, CPSOs, De-regulated parking, Tasers, DVLA database access. I am starting to think that eventually a public revolt is a certainty, not just a remote possibility.

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Black Helicopters

Police shoot shooters

Is that a D-SLR, Madam? Sorry, but that is a leathal weapon in the hands of a terrorist, so hand over your memory cards ... or else.

What do you mean you've got a copy of the PACE act in your bag? No, keep your hands where I can see them. A book containing the law? A likely story. Out on the street I AM the law. Say cheese ... ZZZZAPAPPP

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Alert

What they ought to do

What they ought to do is build a camera and mike into every taser, that starts recording whenever it is powered up, and which security-locks the recording when the taser is fired. This wouldn't cost much. This should guarantee that cops use them only when they are seriously threatened or assaulted by violent people, because there would be no chance of getting away with tasering people merely for being lippy or awkward.

With that precaution in place I'd be willing to see every cop carry one if the cops think that they need to. It's probably less dangerous to be tasered than to be hit hard with a baton or truncheon (and batons don't have cameras in them to record their usage).

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Coat

I need to upgrade...

... from a tin-foil hat to a tin-foil jacket (or hoodie?). That would act as a Faraday cage, wouldn't it? Or least short the bastard out..

/mine's the one labelled 'Bacofoil'

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Unhappy

I wonder...

how long it will be before we hear the immortal phrase "don't tase me bro..."

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IT Angle

Its difficult to see

How they are going to use a Tazer to catch speeding motorists...........

Althought I have seen the clip Scott refers to: 'I remember the video of the guy pulled over for speeding. He was shot in the back, inches from a busy road, for not "complying instantly" with a pr1ck of a cop's aggressive and unreasonable demands'

And it seems the American Police have it licked. Pull the Perp over shout at him create a totally unreasonable situation and then give him a 'walk down Tazer Avenue' when he can't stand on his head quick enough.

So how is this going to work. The Police have already lost the confidence of the Public in general, Next time you request a reason for being stopped and searched will it be a walk down 'Tazer avenue' for you me laddo!

Or will it be no ID Card? Buzzzzzz

Want to know the dangers of this...Type 'tazer' into YouTube.

And that is the tenious IT link

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Black Helicopters

ZZZZAPPPPP

Don't tase me bro

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@Nigel

Some models of tazer already have the video recording feature.

The issue is this:

Plod pulls someone over for xyz. Citizen\Subject hasn't *actually* done anything wrong - but plod A: doesn't like having his "authirteeeh" questioned and B: is a pr1ck just looking for an excuse to zapp mouthy civil liberty types. Plod starts making unreasonable demands, screaming and shouting, maybe even some physical pushing and shoving - citizen\subject gets caught up in the emotions and shouts back.

Plod has his queue.He pulls tazer out. *video starts*. Video captures angry citizen\subject then *zapp*, he's on the ground. According to his report and video evidence, the "bad guy" had it coming.

Not exactly the situation above, but close:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svMi0rI9GV8

Just having video in the tazer gives massive benefit of the doubt to cops. Better they have *always on* plodcams (as I said earlier).

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I thought tasers were a replacement firearm?

Since when have we routinely armed the police?

This is not the sort of country I wish my family to grow up in.

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for use when arresting or searching suspects

Anybody else catch that phrase on the BBC news this morning?

Just give the suspected druggie a zap in case he tries to swallow his dope...

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@Dave Ross

About nine minutes. ;)

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Stop

Nostalgia

Fairwell to the concept of the unarmed police force.

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Anonymous Coward

Scary

This country gets more and more scary every day :-(

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

so much for test trials !!

yeah, so much for the so-called 'test trial' usage excuse..

there was only one plan regarding rolling out tasers to uk cops, and that was for it to go full steam ahead. regardless.

now let's see you have your say..... bzzzzttttt...nope, thought not.

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We don't expect them to be used as a weapon of choice routinely.

So instead of being shot in the head with 73 lead bullets and having little tykes wonder what happened to daddy and why can't we see him, they will get to see daddy resting peacefully in his casket with nary a visible mark. Sweet.

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Well if Tasers are the case

Then i'm going no where without my cattle-prod.

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Unhappy

Legal Question!

Would it be a fair defence to say you run from the police. Just in case you took a 'walk up Tazer Avenue'

And if you where really upto something bad will you now pack a gun........ Just in case you get stopped by the police............

So if somebody breaks into your house you should now assume they are armed!

And considering that a Tazer has only one shot, its gonna be kinda pointless against real bad guys. They have knifes, guns and travel in gangs.

Better just to be safe than sorry just Taz middle class people for road offences. Intresting to see will there be a Top Of the Pops for Tazers.

Police State here we come. Oh and don't forget you ID Card. Punk!

bzzz$zz

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Joke

Fnar

"Home Office Minister Alan Campbell told the BBC this morning that the police did not use Tasers lightly."

Nope, they'll use 'em with force and extreme prejudice!

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Telegraph/Mail Readers

Earlier on today I had the misfortune to hear Jeremy Vine's radio show. Where a bunch of listeners were phoning in to give their views. There were plenty of anti-tazer views. However the pro-tazer lobby only seemed to have two views (a) criminals deserve to be tazered and (b) if you're innocent you have nothing to worry about.

(a) So the police are now to be judge, jury and executioner are they?

(b) It doesn't matter how many times innocent people are arrested, beaten and even killed by the police there are still those Telegraph and Mail readers who believe this. If all you have to do to get shot is vaguely resemble* a suspected terrorist or carry a table leg, what will you need to do to get tazered? Not much at all.

It's scary that this dickhead's all start their reasoning from the point of view that the police are infallible.

*vaguely = not at all

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Anonymous Coward

@Ron Eve

maybe if you have a very strong chain/mesh suit with an earthing strap ypu'd be OK.

Tasers have these prong things that go a centimetre or so into the victim/target to ensure that the current flows nicely through them. They can go through clothes very well, so a tim foil shirt won't do the biz.

Possible a set of thick leathers would though. With a rubber lining. But don't ask me to volunteer to test that out...

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Alien

May I be the first

to welcome our all new tasered-up superplod overlords.

- don't taze me master might be more appropriate.

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Only

Only police firearms officers ...

Only one in five ...

Only one in each car ...

Standard issue ...

"Your ID card, please, citizen."

This country fucking terrifies me.

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@ scott

Has a cop in the UK ever been successfully prosecuted for beating the crap out of some one or killing some one in the line of duty ???

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Coat

Taser at speed

I wasn't 2 mph over the speed limit, honest officer.

ZaaaaaaaaaaaP!!!!!!

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Alert

Shock Tactics

How about a kevlar anti-stab vest, copper mesh high vis jacket and a wacking great capacitor in your pocket to store the charge. Drop to the floor writhing when tazered and wait for the bugger to search your pockets.....ZAPPP

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Unhappy

taser proof jacket

http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/02/shock-proof-jacket-ensures-a-tasering-to-the-face/

if I were to go on any kind of protest march, I'd definitely want to have one of these, and probabky wear a cod piece too.

seems we're going beyond a police state into marshall law. I guess it's because the government, having nationalised the banks, there's not much more they can do to finish bleeding the population dry other than to take away any remaining rights and property we have.

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Anonymous Coward

Consider this

OK take a look at this story: http://tinyurl.com/635rhy

Now can anybody say with any confidence at all that had the arresting officers carried tazers they would not have used them on their vict^H^H^H^H suspect in this case?

PS Sorry for choosing the Mail version of the story, I just liked the irony of it given the Mail's usual support for the police.

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Pirate

The law will discover people who know the law!

These are offensive weapons, they should _only_ be issued to qualified firearms officers, not normal UK police and other unsuitable authority types. There are ways to make these weapons useless, and make their use backfire practically and financially on the police, despite statue 'law'!

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tase the Home Office guy who ok'ed this

i feel that before anyone can legitimately ok the use of the taser, they must be given a whack from it

only then will they have th right to approve it's use on others

the restricted usage as mentioned will surely weakened as the years go by

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Coat

It's not a technical problem...

Nigel>This should guarantee that

No way. For such measures to really work, they must have some consequences other than wagging finger at them and then give them chance to shoot more people (as Ruby Ridge trigger-wanker) - and it's NOT a technical problem. It all boils down to the choice between self-cleansing or "we and they - and my imbecile paramilitary cousin too", courts rarely helping much. In the former case there probably will be some respect.

In the latter case things will not cool down - until some big chap protected from arc would get *really* annoyed, pluck taser from zap-happy guy's hand, stuff it up his arse (on continuous discharge) and write "taser lover" on poor sod's forehead... just to make a point. Because either "an armed society is a polite society" or one day it ends like that, sorry.

AC>maybe if you have a very strong chain/mesh suit with an earthing strap

It's called "chain mail" and also stops knives (and elbows in crowd); if taser isn't grounded, target isn't needed too, just short-circuit electrodes. ;]

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Alert

Unbelievable

The amount of anti-police comments on here is truly unbelievable.

Our front-line police officers put theirs lives on the line every day. Just last week 4 police officers died on duty.

Our police are one of the very few police services in the world that does not carry firearms, yet you object to a harmless taser weapon.

If you think our police service is bad then you obviously haven't been to many other countries.

The police baton is FAR more damaging and dangerous while being less effective than a taser gun.

I don't think the general public realise what risks police officers have to take and how lucky we all are to have one of the best (if not THE best) police service in the world.

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