Hey, let’s be careful out there.

The PSNI are reported to have confirmed that specialist firearms officers have completed Taser training courses and the Taser will now be available as a tactical option from this weekend – although they don’t seem to have chosen the leopard-print iTaser option.. ANYhoo.. as this report notes – “Amnesty International said it was deeply disappointed at the decision, Relatives for Justice said it was a black day for human rights and Sinn Fein said chief constable Sir Hugh Orde had chosen to ignore warnings about the deadly nature of tasers.” However..

The PSNI say tasers will only be used in pre-planned operations and to support officers in dangerous and difficult situations and as a lesser alternative to the use of live ammunition.

They are not for use in riots or public order situations – such as a drunk causing trouble outside a bar on a Saturday night, they insist. The PSNI is the last police service in the UK to add Tasers to their armoury – even the Garda in the Irish Republic started using them last year.

Assistant chief constable Roy Toner, who is in charge of the pilot scheme, said officers had been trained to the highest national standards. “I believe Taser will save lives – it gives the police service a greater range of tactical operations and actually advances human rights. “In situations where there is a real risk to life or serious injury to officers, members of the public or the criminal, taser remains a much more preferable alternative to shooting someone with live ammunition,” he said.

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  • So what’s the Northern equivalent of “don’t tase me bro!”

  • joeCanuck

    Conditions for use seem very restrictive compared to the rest of the world.
    Would the people complaining prefer that a specialist firearms group were sent out to blow someone’s head off?

  • aquifer

    Yes.

    The public outcry aids the cause of our revolutionary gangs by destabilising the existing order and brings forward the day when their elite and their brothers and cousins will rule us all.

  • BfB

    By the time the ‘specialist firearms group’ would have arrived all the good citizens would be assaulted and the criminals disappeared. Had a victim killed his assaulter, the victim would be tasered and jailed. What is so great about Great Britain? The way they deal with criminals is to put the boot harder on the law-abiding. Until the citizen can defend himself properly in NI the alphabet thugs, perversely defended by law and law enforcement will have their way. Tasers?
    Please…

  • BfB

    ‘Discourage self-help, and loyal subjects become the slaves of ruffians.’

    By your man A. V. Dicey.
    Reinforced by observation of NI crime.

  • lib2016

    I support both Sinn Fein and Amnesty but have to agree that asking unarmed police to go up against dangerous criminals without proper weapons, protection and our support when they use them is too much.

    Yes, with proper supervision etc. Tasers might be appropriate in certain circumstances. If they are only to used “in pre-planned operations” it might be a good idea to record any such use to help sort out the inevitable arguments.

  • Wilde Rover

    Any cop on the island should only be allowed to carry one of these weapons if they themselves have been tased at least once.

    They might not be so eager to have them then.

  • BfB

    ‘Any cop on the island should only be allowed to carry one of these weapons if they themselves have been tased at least once.’

    A requirement for police over here. They happily post the results on youtube etc…

  • BonarLaw

    lib2016

    “I support both Sinn Fein and Amnesty”

    How so?

    “Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected for everyone.”

    Sinn Fein is one half of a Republican movement engaged in a thirty year campaign to deny the right of life to anyone who stood in its way.

    Go figure.

  • DM

    He has a point, you know.

    Back on topic, it would be a good idea for the officers in these teams to experience the taser for themselves, as a public confidence boost and possibly as a very realistic training aid. Would this pass H&S;though?

  • Wilde Rover

    “Would this pass H&S;though?”

    They could sign a taser waiver.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    Such nonsense spouted by Wilde Rover. A cop prepared to use a Taser should have it tested on himself first? should a cop be prepared to take a live bullet too before being prepared to use one if he faces a terrorist with a gun / bomb?

    Tasers are not supposed to be pleasant. they are deisgned to stop people who are engaged in criminal and dangerous activity. The sooner the first one is fired ata rioter – and the sorer it is – the better all round.

  • lib2016

    BonarLaw,

    The war is over long ago. By this stage in the fifties France and Germany who had had a much larger disagreement were building the Iron and Steel Federation which has become the largest economic bloc in the world.

    Britain was on the way to becoming an off-shore freak show still fighting WW 2 on every football field. Maybe ‘Simply British’ was the right slogan for unionism. Unless unionists start trying to look to the future as well as the past they will have no future to look forward to. Can we not at least agree on supporting the police?

    Nationalists saw the Troubles as a War of Independence although many of us, myself included, thought that physical force was the wrong tactic and politics would have served us better. Unionists saw them as a rebellion against the lawful government. Neither community is going away and we have to learn to live together. There is no alternative and we all need civil policing.

  • brendan,belfast

    who will complain if say a sword waving “orangeman” or a young protestor who feels is determined to hijack and burn someones private car, gets Tasered? and if one of them ends up in hospital, or dies? Ho hum.

  • Shore Road Resident

    All we need now are civil criminals and we can all skip hand-in-hand into the future.

  • The taser issue is simple. It is a ‘less-lethal’ weapon. As one cop told me, every time he uses his baton he is “sh*t scared” because he might be hauled up, and he has never drawn his firearm. He has seen two colleagues burned, and one beaten horribly. Given the option he could have in two of these situations used a taser. Even now he has no option. He has no indication that he will ever be able to use a taser. For the foreeable future he will have to rely on pepper spray, batons, firearms or simply wrestling a suspect. The failure is really within a PSNI command structure that is too afraid to adopt the measures most police forces adopt for fear that some prat that has never been involved in front line policing will issues decress and judgements.

    Indeed he said many officers (both new 50/50 recruits and veterans)now fear the decision over whether to use baton, spray or firearm when in hostile situations as such spllit second decisions can affect careers and lead to months, if not years, of anxiety.

    What shall such split second decisions be like when we have an Assembly committee examining the role of law enforcement as it applies to front line policing and a Department dedicated to such.

    Will Sinn Féin criticse or empathise?
    Or, as someone who has suffered a serious assault from scrotes that are to be both pitied and hated, wonder if a PSNI with modern deterrants be better equipped.

    Imagine, if you like being challenged by a 16year-old in crass sportswear weilding a broken bottle, spouting expletives, obviously under the influence of drink or drugs (spend any time in Belfast at the weekend and you’ll find such a creature!). Remember his/her human rights. Remember that he/she may have had a troubled past. And then try to figure out how you’re going to arrest him/her without any harm to yourself, your colleagues, or members of the public. Taser seems a good option.

    Imagine you’ve been called as an officer to a domestic dispute. One of the partners is already known as violent to his/her partner. When the door opens you are confronted by an enraged person, spilling invective, promising hurt and holding a knife as their partner reels on the floor, obviously hurt. When the knife weilder either runs towards you, or slashes the knife at their partner…taster seems a good option.

    Such examples as these are apolitical and demonstrate the decisions that must be taken instantly. Thank goodness I have never accepted the Queen’s Shilling and donned any uniform (well I’d never get my hair cut!) and been forced to take such decisions while wondering about circling human rights lawyers!

  • Wilde Rover

    “Such nonsense spouted by Wilde Rover. A cop prepared to use a Taser should have it tested on himself first? should a cop be prepared to take a live bullet too before being prepared to use one if he faces a terrorist with a gun / bomb?”

    A Taser is supposed to be a non-lethal weapon, but if used repeatedly on people they have a tendency to kill.

    My point is that there would be less chance of a trigger happy response if those using them know first hand the power of one blast.

    “who will complain if say a sword waving “orangeman” or a young protestor who feels is determined to hijack and burn someones private car, gets Tasered? and if one of them ends up in hospital, or dies? Ho hum.”

    I won’t detain you any longer Brendan. I’m sure you have jackboots that need polishing.

  • lib2016

    Wilde Rover and Brendan,

    Face up to the horrible truth – you’re both right. 😉

  • Rory

    Couldn’t we just Taser anyone outside of a sports arena caught wearing a track suit? Perhaps we might start with a few well known “Trackies” – say Jeffrey Archer and Anneka Rice, simply pour encourager les autres.