Survey shows officers want better access to Tasers
Findings from the 2017 local Routine Arming Survey reports show that officers across England and Wales want better access to Tasers, as force-level reports are published today.
The local reports follow the national survey headline findings which were published last year.
Over 32,000 officers completed the survey, which collates officers' views on firearms, examining the level of satisfaction with their current access to armed support, and their views on routine arming and other protective measures and equipment.
The survey found that:
- On average across England and Wales 75 per cent of officers who responded to the survey, and for whom it was applicable to their role, said they want access to a Taser at all times on duty
- On average across England and Wales 54 per cent of officers who responded to the survey said their life was in serious danger at least once over the last two years.
The findings follow comments from Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who at the annual Police Federation conference last month, voiced support for Taser calling it "an important tactical option for officers dealing with the most serious and violent criminals".
There are forces across the country, for example Hampshire Constabulary and Devon and Cornwall Police, who do provide or have agreed to provide and train all officers who want to carry a Taser.
Vice Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Che Donald said: "It's no surprise to us that the majority of officers who took part in this survey said they want access to Taser at all times.
"It is imperative that officers are afforded the best possible training and equipment in order to keep themselves safe and Taser is an extremely effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations that officers often face and is a less lethal option than more conventional firearms. In 80 per cent of cases where Taser is drawn, it is not fired as the deterrent is enough, which helps protect communities as well as protecting officers from assaults.
"While there are many forces supportive of wider roll out, owing to financial constraints they are unable to. The protection of both our officers and the public should never be compromised because forces can't afford to keep them safe."
The Police Federation of England and Wales is continuing to call for improved access to equipment for officers through its Protect the Protectors
campaign. The campaign seeks to safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of police officers, ensuring they have the right protective tools and equipment and calling for tougher sentences for those who assault police officers and other emergency services.
View the local reports and the full 2017 questions and headline reports below: