England/Wales: Police use of tasers: statistics for 2016

Taser statistics: weapons fired less in 2016 but are "gaining compliance of members of the public"
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The Home Office recently published statistics on the use of tasers by police forces across England and Wales during 2016. Overall, there has been an increase in the number of times tasers were drawn by police - reaching an average of 30 a day - but a small decrease in the number of times they were actually fired, leading the Police Federation to argue that "by virtue of possession of a Taser, police officers are gaining compliance of members of the public," thus justifying increased deployment of the electroshock weapons.

See: Home Office:

See: Police used Tasers more than 30 times a day last year, shocking Home Office figures reveal (Mirror, link):

"Police in England and Wales used Tasers 11,294 times last year – more than 30 deployments a day – a rise of 904 in 12 months.

But the Home Office figures show that in more than half the cases the electric shock stun guns were not fired, just used to place a red dot on targets.

The number of times they were discharged was 10 less than in 2015. The figures relate to use of the Taser X26, which will be replaced by a new device, the Taser X2.


Che Donald, lead on Taser for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “There has been a fall in the number of times Taser was discharged, which demonstrates that each use of Taser is proportionate to the manner and threats faced by officers.

“More than 80% of uses were non-discharges - with the number of red-dot uses making up more than half of all Taser usage.

“This shows that by virtue of possession of a Taser, police officers are gaining compliance of members of the public. This is further evidence that greater roll-out of Taser across the service would be beneficial.”"

And: Big rise in police taser use in Wales(Heart, link):

"Home Office statistics show tasers were discharged 126 times by the four Welsh forces in 2016, a rise of 65 per cent compared with the same period in 2014.

South Wales Police recorded the most number of discharges, with 45 last year. Tasers were fired 29 times in North Wales, 28 in Dyfed-Powys and Gwent Police recorded the least with 24 instances.

The figures also show 325 suspects were "red-dotted" in Wales, which is where the device is not fired but aimed and then partially activated so a laser dot is placed on to the suspect."

See also:Met chief prioritises giving officers Tasers and fighting cybercrime (The Guardian, link):

"The Metropolitan police of the future could have fewer officers on the beat but would be better equipped to fight cybercrime and more officers would carry Tasers, its new commissioner has said."

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