Evidently, despite calls from critics to address this disproportionate, racially biased approach to taser usage, the phenomenon persists — even when children are the target.
In Lincolnshire, the use of tasers against children in Lincolnshire rose by half in 2016, in Wales 30 percent in Wales, and in Surrey and Hertfordshire the rate doubled. In Greater Manchester, the devices were drawn 38 times in total.
The figures are particularly troubling given that in March, Home Secretary Amber Rudd authorized police to use the Taser X2 model, an upgrade of the standard issue Taser X26, which allows two shots instead of one as well as possessing a number of "smart" features.
The move came in response to a request from the Police Federation of England and Wales, issued in 2016. PFEW asked then-Home Secretary Theresa May to authorize the use of 50,000-volt stun guns by, and issue the weapon to, all frontline police officers in the UK. At the time, only one in ten officers were permitted to carry and use one.
In June, the Children's Rights Alliance for England issued a stark warning over the proposed expansion of police tasers in the UK.
"The more tasers we have on our streets, the more they are used on children. [Such use] must not become routine, tasers can inflict intolerable pain. The government's own medical advisory committee has flagged concerns and recommended further study into the safety risks of these devices. Last year the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said the UK should prohibit use on children because of concerns about the impact on physical and mental health," the Alliance said.
As well as dangerous, the deployment of the X2 model will not be cheap — in March, the Home Office awarded a US$58 million (£45 million) contract to Axon Public Safety to produce and supply the weapons.