Police want more tasers

SUFFOLK police is today preparing to file a bid for 100 additional 50,000-volt Taser stun guns.

SUFFOLK police is today preparing to file a bid for 100 additional 50,000-volt Taser stun guns.

If the constabulary goes ahead with its application to the Home Office and is successful, it would be ordering six times as many Tasers than it currently has.

However, a spokeswoman for the constabulary said no definite decision has been made on the number it will ultimately acquire.

The application for the controversial weapons, which cost �1,000 each, will be discussed at Suffolk Police Authority's meeting tomorrow .

Alongside the bid for the Tasers, an application is also to be made for funding for training, cartridges, carrying equipment and other related equipment.

Kate Rutsch, spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: “In Suffolk, Taser is currently only used by trained firearms officers.

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“Taser gives officers an additional and effective less lethal option when faced with potentially dangerous situations.

“Tasers have proved to be extremely effective alongside our other negotiating tactics such as verbal communication, the baton gun and CS spray and even the warning that it may be used is often enough to diffuse the situation.

“Following careful consideration, Suffolk Constabulary is now looking, through a bid to the Home Office, to increase its number of Tasers and for some non-firearms officers to be trained to use the device.

“At this stage a bid for 100 extra Tasers has been submitted.”

The Taser fires two copper barbs that send out an electrical shock. It is designed to incapacitate temporarily, rather than injure.

Currently Suffolk Constabulary, which has 1,313 officers, has 16 Tasers. Before these can be taken out, permission must be given by a senior officer.

Last year 172 authorities were given in the county, but Tasers were only discharged four times.

Last November Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she would arm police with 10,000 Taser stun guns in an escalation of the government's fight against violent crime.

Ms Smith unveiled plans to enable all 30,000 front-line response officers to be trained in firing the electric guns at knife-wielding thugs and other violent suspects.