This is the archived version of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. To view the new website click here
Banner Image

Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness announces major Taser roll out

2nd March 2020

Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness announces major Taser roll out

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, as the police commissioner bids to hand the force the tools it needs to keep the public and officers safe.

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

Operational decisions on deploying these officers is a decision for the force, but 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.

The taser-equipped officers will cover one of the most diverse force areas in the country, with Northumbria including two cities, heavily populated urban areas and an extensive and often remote rural landscape.

The Commissioner said she was proud to support the force, especially after seeing that assaults on police officers had increased 9% in just 12 months.

Kim 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.”

Funding for some of the Taser devices available to the force comes from a police commissioner bid to the Home Office. Previous Home Office funding awarded to tackle violent crime has also been used to purchase additional tasers.