UK police are set to be issued Tasers following a “sickening trend” of police officers being attacked whilst on duty.
Police Chief Constable for Northamptonshire, Nick Adderley, backed plans to issue Tasers to officers requesting one, after being one of several forces across England and Wales to have introduced the measure, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Adderley said: "There are people out there who are prepared to seriously injure, or worse. We haven't moved with the times and we have to move with the times to combat the threat we are facing daily from those who simply have no respect for law and order.
— Nick Adderley (@NorthantsChief) August 19, 2019
Mr Adderley’s force has just around 1,000 frontline officers and had called to standard issue Tasers in three years, but was “not prepared to wait”, according to the Telegraph. But training takes 18 months and costs around £220,000.
His comments come after Pc Andrew Harper was killed while responding to a burglary in Berkshire. A second officer, Pc Stuart Outten, was attacked by a man with a machete in Leyton, and Pc Gareth Phillips was knocked down by his own patrol car in Birmingham, West Midlands.
But Police Federation of England and Wales chairman, John Apter, said that the UK should ensure that every officer requesting a Taser “can do so”.
He added: “Officer safety should never come second to balancing the books.
— John Apter (@PFEW_Chair) August 20, 2019
The southeastern region of Kent is spending roughly £1m to expand Taser-trained officers from 330 to 1,500, namely frontline officers at risk of facing violence. London’s Metropolitan Police are also increasing its number of Taser-trained officers to 6,830, or 75 percent, by March. The West Midlands Combined Authority is set to increase from 600 to 1,400, as well as Greater Manchester, who plans to jump to 1,100 Taser-trained police.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) August 16, 2019
The news comes after UK prime minister Boris Johnson launched multiple reforms aiming to tackle “the most dangerous” violent and sexual offenders across the UK whilst requesting a review of his government’s crime policies. The move plans to protect the public from the “most dangerous criminals” by preventing them from being released after serving partial sentences, according to a press release.
The Prime Minister also added a further £85m to the Crown Prosecution Service to help manage caseloads and £2.5bn for 10,000 additional prison places for criminals, as well as pledges to recruit 20,000 officers over three years’ time to tackle knife crime and grant all 43 police forces across England and Wales stop and search powers.