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Met police want wider TASER use

By PoliceOne Staff

KENT, England — Lauding TASER as "devastatingly effective, easy to use and safe," The Met Federation announced it wants a wider deployment of the less-lethal device.

Currently, the Home Office refuses to allow anyone but specialist officers use TASERs, which prevents officers from responding as best they can, according to a report on the Met Federation website. Rather than continue to wait for a specialist to arrive before handling a threat, the Federation calls for for all area cars to be equipped with a TASER.

Reassuring the public has delayed a wider deployment of the device, but "delay is the friend of criminals," the report said, and "it's possible that the Home Office is listening to ... Amnesty and, in the United States, of the American Civil Liberties Union," organizations that say TASERs are "inhumane and dangerous."

Several studies rebuff those accusations, the report says, such as the Columbus (Ohio) Police Department's findings that following the introduction of TASERs, "complaints of excessive force dropped by 25 per cent, injuries to suspects dropped by more than 24 per cent and injuries to officers fell by more than 23 per cent."

A Canadian Police Research Centre report found no definitive evidence TASER use has caused death, and field studies show the sight of the device can scare off suspects and adds a beneficial intimidation factor.

Despite additional training costs that would be necessary, "officers who have already received training insist that the weapon is relatively easy to master and instruction in its use could be incorporated into general training days," the report said.

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