New figures show West Yorkshire Police using Tasers less frequently (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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New figures show West Yorkshire Police using Tasers less frequently
6:34pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
Stun guns are being used less often by West Yorkshire police officers – reversing an early rise in deployments.
The force deployed Tasers on 272 occasions last year, a steep decline on the figure of 455 the previous year.
The weapon was actually fired 66 times in 2012 – down from 101 the previous year, official figures from West Yorkshire police showed.
West Yorkshire officers are also employing Tasers in ‘drive stun’ – thrusting it against the body to inflict pain, without firing the cartridge – less often.
The police watchdog is carrying out a review into ‘drive-stun’ use and forces are being told to cut that tactic.
West Yorkshire deployed Tasers in ‘drive-stun’ on three occasions in 2012, down from nine in 2011.
West Yorkshire Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said the overall figures proved Taser use was taken “extremely seriously and is scrutinised at every level”.
He said: “Having been one of ten forces to trial the use of Taser by non-firearms officers in 2007, we have developed our practices and procedures to a high standard.
“We are only using Taser when we need to and this has seen a general reduction in its use, particularly in the number of times it has actually been discharged.”
But George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford West, attacked the way officers were allowed to carry Tasers after just three days' training.
He tabled a parliamentary motion which reads: “Tasers should be kept in the hands of only a small number of specially-trained officers.”