Gwent taser use is highest in Wales
11:35am Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
NEW figures have revealed that Taser use by Gwent Police is almost double that of the South Wales Police Force, and highest of all the forces in Wales.
Figures published by the Home Office on Tuesday show the use of Taser by police forces in England and Wales from 2009-2011.
From 2009-2011, there were 411 uses of Taser by Gwent Police. In the same period, South Wales Police recorded 236 uses.
Unlike other parts of the UK, the figures didn’t show dramatic increases, but more consistent use. In 2009 there were 122 uses , which grew to 146 in 2010 and 143 in 2011.
Superintendent Nigel Russell, of Gwent Police, said: “It’s inevitable that Gwent has a higher rate of usage than the other Welsh forces as more Gwent officers are trained to use Taser than in the other three force areas.
“This is mainly due to the fact that Gwent was part of the 12-month pilot in 2007 where officers, who are were not firearms officers, were specially trained to use Taser.”
The red-dot use was by far the most common deployment of the Taser in Gwent. In these cases, the weapon is not fired but instead, the Taser is deliberately aimed and partially activated so a laser red dot is placed onto the subject.
Of the 411 uses across the three-year period, only 63 were classified as ‘fired’, which is when the probes are fired into the subject and an incapacitating effect delivered.
Every incident in which Taser is deployed – whether it is fired or not – is recorded by the local police force and a report is sent to the Home Office for collation.
Ian Johnston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, said: “The use of Taser is subjected to high levels of scrutiny and I will continue to monitor its use.”