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

Commissioner Baird Points to “Very Strict” Policy on Taser Use

25th February 2015

Vera Baird, Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has pointed to the extremely strict policy of the Northumbria force on taser use and said even occasions where the devices are drawn from their holders are electronically logged and later reviewed by a senior officer.

It follows calls by former Home Secretary David Blunkett for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables to “take a step back” and review the use of tasers.

According to Home Office statistics reported by the BBC, more than 400 under 18 year olds had tasers drawn on them in 2013, but only one of them was in the Northumbria area.

Mrs Baird said:

“In Northumbria, Tasers are only used by officers who have been selected and trained to do so. Even then, there are very strict criteria for when they are deployed. These are the thankfully rare occasions when officers face violence or threats of violence which might mean needing to use force to protect the public, themselves or a suspected offender.

“Even the presence of the taser can have the desired effect of calming a situation, further reducing the times it needs to be used.

“In the Northumbria force area in 2013, only one under 18 year old had a taser drawn and aimed at them but it was not fired.”

“Any use of the taser, including firing it, using the red dot laser sight to aim at someone or even drawing it in the first place – are electronically recorded by the device itself. All of these uses are then reviewed by a chief officer.”