Feeds

More Tasers for cops: not in London

Capital sticks with traditional methods

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Home Office's recently announced plan to issue Taser electric stunguns more widely to police has been endorsed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). However the extra Tasers have been turned down for now by the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), the governing body of London coppers.

The Met already has 350 Tasers, some carried by firearms units and some by specially-trained officers in the Territorial Support Group (TSG) - a multi-roled unit probably best known for riot policing.

According to the MPA, it has "no intention of immediately sanctioning any increase in the availability of Tasers to officers in the Met".

The governing body was well known to be sceptical about Tasers, and said last year that it was only permitting the TSG to have the stunguns in order to be part of the national debate on the weapons' use.

"Both the MPA and [the Met] will pause to take stock before deciding whether to take advantage of the extra funding," said the MPA in a statement, after the Home Office plans were announced.

Meanwhile the IPCC has just released a report (pdf) into complaints arising from police Taser use. Deborah Glass, IPCC commissioner responsible for firearms matters, set out the watchdog's position.

“Our conclusion to date is that public complaints about the use of Taser are minimal, especially when compared with the number of instances where its use has saved lives or prevented injuries," she said.

“IPCC supports a gradual and monitored extension of the use of Taser and will continue to monitor any complaints of abuse and raise any concerns.”

However the IPCC did note that, while Taser discharges - with barbs shot from the gun to hit and shock a suspect - had led to few complaints, the use of "drive stun" contact-zapper mode was an area of concern.

“We note that use of the Taser in ‘drive-stun’ mode (directly against the body) generates most complaints and have recommended to the Association of Chief Police Officers that there is a need for more training and better guidance for police on this," said Glass.

In previous Home Office figures, discharges have been five or more times as common as "drive stun" uses. Many incidents in which Tasers are drawn involve no shocking at all.

Nonetheless, London's MPA seems unconvinced at least for the present about the merits of Taser. The MPA is well known for taking a contrary stance to the IPCC, of course. The Authority has famously backed the current Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, through repeated calls for his resignation - even after his conduct in the wake of the fatal Jean Charles de Menezes incident was publicly questioned by the IPCC. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?