Police back use of tasers
SUFFOLK police backed the use of taser stun guns today after one of the weapons was fired in Ipswich for only the second time since its launch.Specially trained officers used the gun at the Caribbean Club in Woodbridge Road after a woman brandished a knife and threatened to harm herself and others.
SUFFOLK police backed the use of taser stun guns today after one of the weapons was fired in Ipswich for only the second time since its launch.
Specially trained officers used the gun at the Caribbean Club in Woodbridge Road after a woman brandished a knife and threatened to harm herself and others.
After a stand-off of more than an hour in an upstairs function room at the club on Friday night, officers used the gun to stun the woman, allowing them to arrest her.
The taser gun was introduced in Suffolk in August last year. It was first deployed in Ipswich when police were called to a similar incident in Mallard Way in October where a man was threatening to harm himself with a knife.
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The man was successfully arrested without injury to himself or officers after the taser was deployed.
Inspector Clive Benneworth from Suffolk police today reaffirmed the importance of the gun to the force.
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He said: “It is a very useful piece of equipment.
“Its after effects are less than a baton or CS spray because all the person is left with is tingling in the fingers.
“It is very effective at close range in stopping an individual in their tracks and officers can then restrain the person soon after.”
The guns, which have a range of 21ft, work by firing barbed probes from an electrical gun and temporarily disabling suspects with a 50,000 volt charge.
It causes the target's muscles to contract uncontrollably and confuses the body's nervous system.
Police see tasers as an effective and less lethal option when faced with potentially dangerous situations and today nearly every force in the country uses taser guns.
Insp Benneworth said that only authorised firearms officers could use the stun guns.
He added: “We used the taser in October when an individual came at officers with a knife and it prevented officers from being injured.
“But it is for emergencies only - everything we do has to be accountable and justifiable.”
In line with standard police procedure when a taser is deployed Suffolk police informed professional and ethical standards officers of Friday's incident so that the use of the taser can be reviewed.