New review into police taser use across Staffordshire

A new review is examining the use of tasers by police officers in Staffordshire.

A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission has revealed that the county had the highest use of tasers in the country during 2013.

Now the Ethics, Transparency and Audit Committee (ETAC) will examine usage by officers in the region.

Matthew Ellis

Matthew Ellis

Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said: “I’m not alarmed because the number of complaints about tasers is very low in Staffordshire – but it is interesting that there’s such a big variation with taser use in other forces.

“Out of the 619 incidents in Staffordshire, the taser was actually discharged 71 times. A lot of the time officers use it as a deterrent to prevent trouble – similar to the way that body cams have had an effect across Staffordshire since their roll out in the past 12 months.

“Statistics and numbers can easily mislead and it might be that other forces discharge tasers on a more regular basis. But we won’t know until a thorough piece of work has been done by the ETA panel and I’m looking forward to getting the results.”

The ETAC is made up of nine members of the public and meets regularly to monitor the work of police in the county.

“The ETAC has been given wide-ranging and rigorous powers to scrutinise crucial areas of policing to make sure decisions made are correct,” Commissioner Ellis added.

“I’ve asked them to get beneath the statistics so that we can take a common-sense approach to this and make sure that Taser is being used appropriately in Staffordshire.”

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