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.