The Home Secretary’s announcement that police officers can be equipped with a new model of Taser has been welcomed by Gwent Police Federation chair Maria Henry.
Priti Patel has approved the use the more accurate, faster and compact Taser 7 for use by all 43 forces in England and Wales.
And Maria says the new Tasers will be a welcome addition to officers’ equipment and hopefully save money in the long run.
“Taser is an important piece of a police officer’s kit,” Maria said. “It is an effective way of dealing with dangerous situations. Indeed, in the majority of incidents, just drawing them out of a holster can de-escalate the situation.
“We’ve long called for all officers who want to carry Taser to be trained in their use and equipped with the devices.
“This announcement that members will have access to the new, more effective devices is to be welcomed as it will help them more protect themselves and their communities more effectively.”
She added: “And there is a potential cost-benefit to this as well with the latest model having rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones.”
National Federation vice-chair Ché Donald has also welcomed the news.
He said: “Policing is tough and more of my colleagues are being assaulted so it’s essential they are given the best training, the best equipment and the support they need to do their job.
“Having access to Taser with the option to carry one if they wish to do so and pass the required training is part of that.”
In September last year, the Government announced £10 million in ring-fenced funding to significantly increase the number of officers carrying Taser.
Chief constables will decide how many officers can carry the new devices based on strategic assessments of threats and risks in their force areas.
Officers who want to use the new device will receive updated training and guidance, while forces will need to complete an extra record every time a Taser 7 is used to monitor the effects and performance of the device.