I have to say LibDem Tom Brake does a superb job in his comments on this, concise and informative on the key issues.
ARMING more North Wales cops with Tasers will cost the force almost £40,000 this year, records reveal. And training up the rank and file to use the American-style stun guns will also take each officer off the streets for at least two days. Until this year only the most highly-trained fire arms squads could carry the weapons, which emit 50,000-volts to temporarily paralyse targets.
But a relaxation of the rules means 30,000 more junior officers are set to be trained up nationally. North Wales police have trialled the use of the weapons, set to be rolled out to other forces this year. Under the Freedom of Information Act North Wales police admitted piloting the use of Tasers cost £22,428, while rolling out the scheme this year will cost £39,191. The figures do not take in to account any costs for the officer’s time.
Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman who uncovered the information, said: “Having police out patrolling the streets would be of far more benefit to the public than locking them away for two days and training them to use deadly weapons. Tasers have killed over 300 people in America since 2001 and yet the Home Office maintains that they are non-lethal. It is ridiculous that the Home Office is lavishing millions on Tasers when some police forces do not want even want them. Tasers should be left in the hands of specially trained firearms officers. By giving 30,000 officers Tasers we are descending the slippery slope towards armed, US-style policing.”