Plans to increase the number of Cleveland Police officers go out to consultation
Plans to increase the number of police officers armed with Tasers are being considered by the force serving Hartlepool.
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner is asking people for their views on the topic before seeking Government funding for the extra arms.
Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced a £10million funding pot to increase the number of officers carrying the weapons in the wake of a spate of attacks on police around the country.
Between the start of last year and the second week of December 85 officers/PCSO’s were assaulted in Cleveland.
Although the use of Tasers is decided by the Chief Constable, applying for the funding falls within the remit of Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.
Mr Coppinger said: “I have always pressed for additional resources for Cleveland Police so I am pleased that the Government is offering funds to allow Cleveland to make an investment in Taser equipment.
“We need to make sure that police officers have the tools they need to keep themselves and the public safe and I believe Cleveland’s residents will welcome additional officers being trained in Taser, should that be a decision the Chief Constable makes.
“To make sure we apply for the appropriate level of funding, I plan to consult, both within the force and with the wider public, before making a bid to the Home Office.”
Tasers are designed to incapacitate dangerous suspects by firing two small darts that deliver an electric current.
They are classed as ‘less-lethal’ firearms as the possibility of serious injury or death still exists, though is rare.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Graham added: “Nationally, the number of officers in a force who are trained and equipped with Taser is a decision for individual Chief Constables based upon an assessment of local threat and risk.
“In Cleveland Police we are currently increasing our numbers in line with this assessment and will keep this under review.
“We will be submitting a bid to the Home office to support this.”
The survey can be found at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/V7HIE/ and is open until Sunday, February 2.