Hundreds more Police officers to receive tasers

More front line officers will have tasers, police officials have announced.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th March 2020, 12:11 pm
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness with Northumbria Police's Chief Constable Winton Keenen

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has announced plans to back crime fighting efforts with a major new roll out of Tasers.

Hundreds of Northumbria Police’s front line officers will have access to new Tasers, and training made available to them.

Over the next two years the force will increase the number of Taser-trained officer numbers from around 650 to almost 1,900 – meaning most of the frontline force will have the ability to use the devices.

Police commissioner Kim McGuinness said she is determined to use her first budget to hand police vital crime fighting tools.

The commissioner will agree around £400,000 annually for Taser use, covering training, maintenance, cartridges and other costs, as part of her force budget.

Miss McGuinness said: “I know from speaking to the public that across the Northumbria force area people want the police to keep them safe but also for officers to be safe on our streets as well.

“I’m proud to stand by the force, so that officers have what they need to stop crime and protect the public. That’s more police on our streets and more officers equipped to fight crime.”

Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: “The safety of the communities we serve is absolutely paramount, as is the welfare of officers responding to potentially dangerous situations.

“Increasing our Taser capabilities means more officers will have this important tool available to defend not only themselves but also the public we are here to protect.

“I know just how dedicated officers are to their communities and they regularly face challenging situations – but all-too often this includes violence. I want to make it very clear, this is completely unacceptable and violence should never simply be considered a part of the job.”