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English Police Force to Issue Every Officer With a Taser Amid Rising Street Violence

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August 21, 2019

An English police force is to become the first in the country to issue every officer with electric stun-guns known as Tasers, news that comes days after a police officer was murdered by criminals and among a sharp rise in violence against officers overall.

Northamptonshire police cited a surge in violence against police officers when announcing the wider deployment of Tasers to their officers. Across the United Kingdom, the vast majority of police officers do not carry firearms and those who carry Tasers tend to be specially trained. The announcement of Northamptonshire Chief Constable Nick Adderley marks the departure from that.

Presently, in Britain, the only police to routinely carry firearms are specialist crisis reaction teams, royal and political protection officers, and members of the special constabularies that protect military bases and nuclear plants.

The top Northamptonshire officer said of his decision to arm his officers with Tasers on Tuesday: “When I’m writing statements for courts where an officer has had his ear bitten off, where he’s had his finger bitten off, where she’s been punched in the face and thrown down the stairs, we can see that level of violence rising daily and it’s time now to act… Here in Northamptonshire, we can have officers and staff who are 50 minutes away from any kind of support, and if a member of the public is attacking them or they’re being attacked, then they should have a response to that.”

Crime and policing have become hot-button topics in the United Kingdom, one of the few political areas which have managed to break out among the focus on Brexit’s three-year delay. The announcement comes just four days after Police Constable Andrew Harper was murdered while responding to a burglary near Reading in Berkshire.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 6:41 am

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