Bernard Hogan-Howe Wants More Police Tasers
Tuesday 22nd November 2011
The Met Police Commissioner has told LBC 97.3 he wants officers in London to be able to use tasers more often.
Bernard Hogan Howe - appearing on Nick Ferrari's show on LBC 97.3 this morning - says every police car in London could be fitted with one, rather than giving them to officers who "have enough on their belts."
"I think it should be a vehicle board option. I think to have them in vehicles... one of the options is every police car another one might be one of our response cars- there are various options- the dog car might carry it," he explained.
Four police officers were stabbed in Kingsbury on Saturday - two are still in hospital. Speaking to a serving firearms officer who called in, Mr Hogan Howe says it is just one example of why tasers must be made more available.
"I hear on Saturday when you went to that job it took about twenty minutes for the first firearms officer to arrive and that can be too long as we saw in this case."
He continued, "There is a lot more work to do and we need to talk to the police authority but in short my first answer stands - I want to see wider availability of taser."
The Commissioner told LBC he has already already asked one of the Commanders of Public Order to look at how they could roll them out further.
"If we accept that legally taser is available and the Home Office has made it available, what we need to make sure is it is available when it is needed."
But, as with many things, budget restrictions need to be kept in mind. "The only thing we need to keep an eye on is the cost - I think they're about £400-500 each."
He continued, "Every time you have a new piece of kit it means new training takes more people off the street. So we'll get to a reasonable point, but this is not a radical departure Nick, this is actually what we're seeing in other forces across the country and it hasn't led to more people being tasered- it's just meant that officers and the public are kept safer."
More discussions will take place before a roll out will take place - including with the Police Authority and with a new member of the Mayor's staff early next year.
In response to the comments a spokesperson for Boris Johnson saidd:
"The Mayor understands the case being made by the Commissioner and recognises that the current restrictions on the use of Tasers might be too tight. He is nevertheless keen to ensure that the use of such weapons does not become routine, and that adequate safeguards will always be in place to ensure their use in exceptional circumstances is as responsible and restrained as possible."