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April 30, 2004
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Metropolitan Police 'to Extend Use of Stun Guns'

The Trinity Mirror, UK

Britain''s largest police force has signalled its intention to extend the use of stun guns by its officers.

The Metropolitan Police was one of five forces which took part in a trial of the controversial Taser weapons.

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Classed as a "less lethal" option they fire two barbs which deliver an electric shock to a suspect.

Giving his personal backing to their further use, Met Commissioner Sir John Stevens said: "We are seeking ministerial approval for extending the provision of Tasers.

"It allows the police commander or officer to deal with them (suspects) - rather than shooting them - in a way they can be incapacitated."

Sir John is understood to want to extend the availability of Tasers amongst armed officers.

They will not be carried routinely by all officers.

Tasers have already been used a number of times during the trial period but officers involved say they haven''t always worked.

On one occasion, not in London, a Taser failed to subdue an angry dog.

Sir John said it was important to make sure the weapons did work properly. He also said there was further debate to be had over the disciplinary process surrounding officers using Tasers.

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