back to article UK kiddies cop a righteous tasering

The Liberal Democrats are a tad worried that the UK is sliding inexorably into a US-style law enforcement pit where the merest hint of insurrection is countered by a robust tasering - even if it means delivering electro-justice to wide-eyed kiddies. According to shock figures "revealed in a Parliamentary answer", the facts are …

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Anonymous Coward

Alternative to Arming the Police

Maybe giving the police Tasers is a bad thing, but I think the alternative is that the police would routinely carry guns. The current climate seems to be that by hook or crook the police are going to get more & more tools in their armoury, lethal & non-lethal. So I doubt there's any consideration of not arming them with something. It is also likely they'll get unmanned drones as well to monitor to UK mainland as well (cheaper than helicopters). We're heading down the US route with an increasing tendency to paramilitarise law enforcement. So expect to see more armoured riot squads & Robcops deployed on a regular basis.

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Stop

Get ready for regular gratuitous electrocution of citizens

The American experience has shown that Tasers, rather than being employed as a replacement for lethal force, are instead most commonly used as augmentation for batons. We will see thousands of cases where Tasers were used not to protect police officers from gun-wielding crims, but to control and meter out extra-judicial punishment-by-electrocution for citizens who officers find noisy, unruly or simply those that they find irritating.

Here's a wonderful early example from last year:

"Police accused of firing Taser into head of innocent man"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/dec/18/ukcrime.commentisfree

I'm willing to bet that there will be *plenty* more where this came from.

I attended the NUJ rally outside new Scotland Yard last week, and given the stories I heard from journalists and photographers about police behaviour at the "Climate Camp" last year, it's just as well (for those protesting) that they weren't armed with Tasers then.

I hope that the use of Tasers will be one of the issues that is highlighted at this weekend's Convention on Modern Liberty.

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Alert

According to shock figures...

Oh god. Knowing you, I bet you did that on purpose too.

Now I'm as happy to see some chav sprog do the Funky Volt Dance as the next man but, correct me if I'm wrong, weren't tasers to be used only instead of firearms?

Were these kids to be shot otherwise?

So we can now expect plod to light-up suspects whenever they feel they might break a fingernail?

"We are plod of Borg, resistance is futile, you will be electrificated."

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Anonymous Coward

Irrespective of the authors comments...

...there are some kids roaming our towns who will only respond to threatened, or actual, violence.

These feral children feel that there is not action that can be taken against them, there are no limits on their behaviour & they are 'owed' the celebrity lifestyle they see in Hello et al (without the 30 years of training & work to earn it of course.)

While I personnally believe that most of our current lot of constables are out of control thugs, they have the right to protect themselves against violence. The problem is that they tend to hide the mistakes they make when using force and are aided in this by their superiors.

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Alert

Comparison with the US

Thats 2,222 people "exposed to taser" in 20 months ~ 1200/year out of population of 60million. And given figures for children may be only 25% of these were actually tased. So thats about 5 tasings per year per million.

When I was living in Silicon Valley 10 years ago there was some concern when in San Jose (pop ~1 million) Police had shot *dead* 14 people in first 8 months of a year - issue waa that 14 was the normal average number for a year and while that seemed to be considered "acceptable" there was some concern that heading towards 20 for the full year might be a bit too much.

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Anonymous Coward

NuLabour, is *NOT* NuNazi's

In Nazi Germany they didn't have CCTV and Taser. And we don't has gas chambers that we know of, and hardly ever torture people and our wars are smaller, also their leader had one ball and ours had one eye.

So nothing like Nazi germany at all. Fish and chips vs strudel and schnitzel, absolutely nothing like Nazi germany.

Nazi electro shock was to the BRAIN, not the body, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!

http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg08384.html

Also Andrew Orlowski isn't man made, some Japanese scientists expressed the need to research more before coming to that conclusion.

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Heart

Hmmm.

Why am I thinking that - in order to reduce their 'carbon footprint' - the police should be required to use solar-powered Tasers.

(these would of course be about as 'threatening' as requiring someone to lick the terminals of a PP3 9-volt battery).

Coat? the one with the carbon-loaded electrically-conducting lining and the attached ground-wires..

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Pirate

for 'children' read 'street urchin'

Tasers eh? Personally I won't like some vacuous copper to fire one into my head but really these 'children' will be the same street urchins we'd all love to shoot with a taser.

One rule for us, another for the underclass.

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Black Helicopters

"shock figures"

I see what you did there..

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Bronze badge

Statistics

Those figures are worrying, but how did the number of Tasers carried change?

And "children" includes people who can lawfully marry.

(My grandfather took out a machine-gun nest, but he insisted on using a Mills Bomb, so they only gave him a Military Medal.)

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Ian
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Children?

One problem here is that "children" means under 18. So, no distinction between a 17 years, 360 days old gang member in an inner city, pulling an Uzi on a cop who just surprised him breaking into a car, and a 10 year old who just ran up to a cop and said "bum" because his mates dared him to.

Personally I don't think "child" should apply to someone old enough to marry, drive, join the army...

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Anonymous Coward

And how many were relieved of their knives

Just a quick search found the following recent articles:

"Plymouth police yesterday displayed the collection of weapons and revealed that the total taken off the streets within the last two months was more than 300"

"1,445 Number of knives taken off streets of London in past three months"

These are typical of the numbers in ONE TOWN over a period of MONTHS. Then the number of tazings for the COUNTRY over a YEAR is tiny.

Yes, there is a small risk of serious injury or death from a tazer, but then there is also a risk from the batons the police carry and cars they drive.

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Catch them young.

Here in Scotland the taser is essential, because it's illegal to smack children under the age of three.

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Thumb Up

That's forward thinking for a modern Britain!

"What these kids need is a solid tasering, a lick o' the cat and a touch of the birch followed by an isolation cell in borstal and a couple of years in the army. Mark my words: It's the only language they understand."

Huzzah!

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V US?

So you are saying that its fine that we have gone from having one of the most liberal, respectable and downplayed police forces in the world to having electric shock torture meted out on the street on suspicion - its all ok because its not as bad as in the US? Hey, its not as bad as Iran or Iraq either.

The destruction under this government of our traditional way of life is disgusting. The people that pander to it are scum.

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Taser the parents

That should get them to keep their brats in line!

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@Anonymous

"Maybe giving the police Tasers is a bad thing, but I think the alternative is that the police would routinely carry guns ..."

1) Tasers aren't effective against guns because guns have a longer range than tasers. This is one reason why you don't fight snipers with tasers.

2) Policemen have traditionally had recourse to a whopping-great stick aka a truncheon. What's the problem with using this instead of a tazer?

3) I don't know how old you are, but if you're about my age you'll clearly remember policemen using long-range devices known as "plastic bullets" in Ireland during the Troubles. AFAIK these devices are still in the police armoury.

...

4) "These feral children" ... thanks for taking the time out of your day to stop reading the Daily Bile and type its views into your web-browser. I wonder: do you even know what the word 'feral' means? If you do, why not use one of its synonyms instead of just repeating the same phrase everyone else uses - it would show at least _some_ independence of thought outside the BileBrain.

"...there are some kids roaming our towns who will only respond to threatened, or actual, violence."

There are some adults like this as well, and its amazing how many ordinary people act this way when approached by some shouty-arse nob in a uniform who hasn't got the slightest intention of explaining his actions to them, despite being a public _servant_.

If had a servant who acted that way I'd sack him.

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Unhappy

Orwellian?

So how come this story doesn't get the judicious use of the word "Orwellian" like El Reg is prone to do regarding any story concerning Google Eyeball Substitute^H^H^H^H^H^Street View ?

I contact one of the authors with a very long message requesting clarification on this, but no reply yet. Seems The Register is only interested in misusing words rather than reporting the truth......

-- Richard

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Flame

Police 2.0

What is everybody smoking these days?? Stabbings etc have been going on since the dawn of time, but just because there are a few Daily Mail stories exclaiming that every kid in Britain carries a knife, smokes drugs and shots people we now have the Police tooled up, zapping people.

Every taser should be fitted with a camera and every discharge should be logged and open for review on PoliceTube.

Then we vote on the clips and those where the cop blatantly popped one off because he had his other hand full with a burger should be sacked.

Discuss.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Comparison with the US

What's your point?

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Coat

"But what about the kids?"

I say tazer the lot of them. We should organise van loads of armed officers (they can have a bright yellow van if it helps) to be dispatched to problem areas. The van doors burst open, the officers are deployed and begin a ruthless tazer fest, targeting yobs and drug peddlers.

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Joke

I prefer the lethal method

the re-offence rate for shot suspects is much less than for tasered / nannied suspects.

Better a few innocents die each year by methods other than drunk drivers / drive by shootings / NHS blunders / texting lords etc than the current reoffending rate of killers / rapists / kiddie fidlers backed by state aid and do gooder nimby's from the lawlords

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Go

Come on!

Whether or not you think the Police are thugs the 'poor defenceless kiddies' have only themselves to blame. I've seen them (as have many others, I'm sure) mouthing off at Officers, giving them the 'come on' and acting the big shot. They do this because they KNOW they can do it. After all, who is going to stop them? Nobody. It's against the law to prevent a youngster/minor/child from misbehaving.

And, technically, if you do something because you feel your victim is defenseless, this classes as bullying. Simple as that. Taser the friggin' lot of 'em. Let's see how Kingpin they feel when they're street-dancing on the end of a Voltgiver! Perhaps then they'll learn to stop, listen and show a little respect.

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@AC12:41

Scumbag yoofs reading Hello? That, I've got to see.

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Go

We need more tasering not less...

The term "child", while technically accurate, is very misleading when applied to the strapping young savages the police are confronted with today. They may be mentally immature (and many adults stay that way) but they can be physically very powerful. In such circumstances, their immaturity renders them even more dangerous than an adult of similar force. It's like giving a gun to a kid.

In the good old days a copper (or bobby) would give a young lout a bloody good truncheoning but when the young lout is 6'5" and built like a brick shit-house those methods are less applicable. The taser is a fantastic gadget and should be used liberally.

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Other information

Rather than looking at the number tasered one time only we could compare the number of those that were tasered with the number of times they re-offend vs. those that were not tasered who re offended...... I wonder how much of an effect Tasering really has in *actually* getting these poorly behaved citizens to learn that what they are doing is wrong. My guess is the figure for re-offence over the next 5-10 years will show tasered criminals are over 50% less likely to re-offend.

I agree with what a previous commentor wrote: "The problem is that they [the police] tend to hide the mistakes they make when using force and are aided in this by their superiors". This is best demonstrated in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes, in which the truth was revealed over 1 (2?,3?) years later. It was an absolute disgrace, however we need not to forget he was in Britain illegally. Now two wrongs don't make a right, *but* (as was written in another article on el Reg about texting and driving), it was "an avoidable situation". Chances are if he wasn't here illegally he probably wouldn't have been shot dead, at point blank (...several times).

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Heart

Good solid tasering!

"What these kids need is a solid tasering, a lick o' the cat and a touch of the birch followed by an isolation cell in borstal and a couple of years in the army. Mark my words: It's the only language they understand."

Can I vote for you as Prime Minister? If you're not Scottish too, every box is ticked!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Orwellian?

Sooooo... you're having a go at us for something we haven't done? Do you work for the government perchance? Ahahahaha!

Tsk.

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Coat

My grandfather took out a machine gun nest,

... but she ran off with an american servicemen. Bloody Yanks....

Coppers that I know can't wait to get their hands on tasers. But only because they want to come home in one piece after their shift.

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Joke

RE: Catch them young

@pootman "Here in Scotland the taser is essential, because it's illegal to smack children under the age of three."

Yep, it's illegal to GIVE smack to children as well but if we didn't do it, the economy of Glasgow and Dundee would grind to a halt. At least now the police will be able to give the rest of us a 'buzz' as well...

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Silver badge

Shocking...

I can see chainmail coming back into fashion very shortly...

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Coat

That's entertainment.

The Tazers used by the NZ Police are fitted with a video camera and bi-directional microphone. No doubt this is the Youtube version.

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Anonymous Coward

"We must not slide down a slippery slope towards fully-armed, US-style policing."

Yeah - better to pre-empt the need entirely by crushing the populace's spirit with omnipresent surveillance and stifling control over its every thought and action!

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Woo

Taser the bastards some more! \o/

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@@anonymous

The phrase "these feral children" had me laughing it up - mostly because, for me, it seemed original. Then to read your post and find that this isn't new! That's just frightening (ok actually I'm still cracking up over it). If things have reached the state where "feral children" is a common expression, then I'm inclined to think that, whatever deterrents are in place, they're not working.

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@RobE

Menezes was not here illegally. His visa may have been expired but he did not need that visa to enter and remain.

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Paris Hilton

"What these kids need..."

"...is . . . a lick o' the cat and a touch of the birch."

Did anyone else take that in the entirely dirty way?

Paris, because she likes the "touch of a birch," too.

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Stop

Think of the children!

"Given the grave doubts about the Home Office’s claim that Tasers are not lethal, they should not be used on children."

How many of the 2,222 'exposed to Taser' actually died? Or does this also include the cases of someone 'humping the Taser?'

I would start worrying if these numbers were a couple of magnitudes bigger, but for now, I'm more worried about being in a car crash. Or even being assaulted by one of the friends of the 28 'children' the quiche eater speaks about.

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@Smallbrainfield

"Coppers that I know can't wait to get their hands on tasers. But only because they want to come home in one piece after their shift."

Are you saying at present they come home in more then one piece?

Perhaps you should suggest a change of career for everybody's sake.

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Pirate

Why don't the kids

just wrap themselves in Baco foil under their hoodies?

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Anonymous Coward

First they came for the photographers . . .

So, when you see the rozzers tasering someone you cannot record the incident because they will arrest you for photographing them, and aiding and abetting a criminal/terrorist. And, if it ever gets to court, you have no proof. That has worked out for nicely, then. And recently a retired government spook claimed that we should all accept the loss of our liberty, rights and democracy for the War on Terror. The media still blathers on about walking into a police state, surveillance society; note to the editors - we already there.

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IT Angle

I wish

That the people so against tasering as well as most law enforcement had to live in a run down grotty inner city estate surrounded by the chavs and hoodies.

A quote from somewhere says it all really

"Nothing turns a left wing liberal into a reactionary conservative faster than having his house burgled"

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Coat

context is missing

In principle there should be no reason for why the police could not be equipped with tasers. In practice the main problem is the very poor training and education that so many police officers appear to have. People make mistakes under stress. A poorly trained and ignorant public servant is more likely to make mistakes which in this case does mean that inappropriate means are used on the wrong individuals. I can see the problem escalate when the police force is being "put on a diet" both in a quantitative and in a qualitative way. What our government does appear to avoid at all cost (literally) is the point that in complex real world social situations technology can not compensate for lack of ability to make informed human judgement relevant to context in any particular situation at hand.

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Coat

and...

In with the obligatory "don't taze me bro!!"

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Joke

@Tanuki

I used to have a 90 volt battery the went to a piece of radio kit. Maybe we could have them lick that instead....

@ac - Taser the parents

HUZZAH!

"Scumbag yoofs reading " Reading? orly?

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@ Ian

One problem here is that "children" means under 18.

Some government stats defined child as any thing under 19

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Stop

We should probably stop calling them "non-lethal"

Since they have killed people, the term is clearly not true. Calling them "Less lethal" (than guns) or "Reduced lethality" (SP?) would hopefully at least kill the culture of "They are non-lethal so we can fire them off anywhere and at anyone."

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Anonymous Coward

"exposed to taser"

The police only count a use of a tazer if the barbs are fired into the person.

The alternate 'pain compliance' (AKA torture) mode where it held against the person doesn't count.

Still as we say in Canada "ne me Tase pas, je ne suis pas Polonais"/"Don't tase me bro I'm not polish"

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Anonymous Coward

Here's an idea

How 'bout we let the coppers have tasers but with the understanding that if they have to use them it means they have failed, and should expect consequences ranging from docked pay to termination. (Or criminal charges in case of gross abuse.)

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