The number of officers in South Wales Police – the force overseen by South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael – is to double the number of officers trained to shoot tasers at people.
Currently only 10% of officers are authorised to use tasers but this is to be increased to 20% – with a corresponding increase in the number of weapons PCs will carry on the streets.
A total of 281 more officers will be taught how to fire tasers at people in the next 12 months.
Labour Police Commissioner Alun Michael says:- “The use of a Taser is often misunderstood and misrepresented so it’s important to stress that – properly used – it is a means of preventing injury, not of causing injury. I am very confident that the use of Taser by our officers is proportionate and frequently prevents harm.”
In 2017 South Wales Police officers logged that they had “deployed” [ i.e. drew tasers out of their holsters] on 227 occasions.Usually the act of producing the bright yellow taser is enough to cause the person they are attempting to arrest to back-down .
However in 16 cases last year officers went on to fire the electronic barbs into people – subjecting the targets to an agonising, high-voltage shock which temporarily paralyses them and renders them incapable of resistance.
There is no record of the increase in ther use of tasers having been discussed byu the South Wales Police and Crime Panel – [the panel made up of mostly Labour nominees who are supposed to scrutinise the decisions of the Police Commissioner] .