More officers being trained to carry tasers in North Yorkshire

More officers being trained to carry tasers in North Yorkshire

Published by Harry Long at 6:46am 9th March 2020. (Updated at 6:52am 9th March 2020)

North Yorkshire Police is training more of its officers to carry tasers.  

National funding has been made available to all police forces to buy more of the devices- but the North Yorkshire force did not bid for any money.   

It says it already has enough tasers for officers, but will review the situation in the future.   

In a survey by the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, around two-thirds of respondents in the county said they would support all police officers carrying a taser.

The force also has one of the highest taser discharge rates in the country.

Police officers

In a statement, North Yorkshire Police said:

"Following the recent, national funding made available to all police forces to purchase additional Taser devices, North Yorkshire Police did not bid for a portion of the funds due to its existing plans for Taser uplift and the current number of devices held by the force.

Officers safety is a priority for the Chief Officer Team and prior to the release of the bidding process, North Yorkshire Police had reviewed its Taser capability against its strategic threat and risk assessment, alongside the results from two surveys – one of our officers and one of the public. This resulted in us planning a funded Taser uplift and redistribution plan.

As such, although we are not applying for money from the national fund, we are increasing the number of Specially Trained Officers (STOs) trained to carry Taser."

Taser gun as used by North Yorkshire Police

Tasers were used during  251 incidents, but fired only 48 times, during 2018-19.  The force says the presence of a Taser at an incident is often enough to calm a situation, without it being fired.     

Carrying a Taser is voluntary at North Yorkshire Police and is tightly controlled. Officers go through a rigorous training programme which is refreshed each year to ensure they remain capable and competent to carry one.