Time for Tasers: Police chiefs can request more Tasers thanks to Nick Ferrari campaign

13 January 2020, 08:15

Police can start equipping more officers with Tasers from today
Police can start equipping more officers with Tasers from today. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Police bosses in England and Wales will today start bidding for funds to have more Tasers put in the hands of front-line officers to help them tackle violent crime.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) across England and Wales can now start putting in bids for part of a £10m ring-fenced fund which the Home Secretary announced exclusively to Nick Ferrari on LBC back in October.

Nick Ferrari's Time for Tasers campaign on LBC comes as official figures show an officer in Britain is under a threat of some form of assault every twenty minutes, often with just pepper spray to defend themselves. The campaign has been hailed by officers and Police Federation chair John Apter.

The fund was set up to allow more front-line officers to be equipped with Tasers to help stop a rising number of assaults on police who bravely put themselves in harm’s way to protect members of the public.

The fund will allow as many as 10,000 more police officers in England and Wales to be equipped with and trained to use the devices.

The Home Office has created a new online platform which PCCs can use to put in bids for Tasers. It allows police forces to decide how much funding to apply for based on threat and risk in their area.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our brave police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and I am committed to giving them the tools they need keep themselves and the public safe

“The rise in assaults on officers is appalling which is why I am providing funding to equip up to 10,000 more officers with Taser - an important tactical option when facing potentially physically violent situations.”

The final funding allocations for police forces for this year and next year will be announced as early as February.

The Tories have pledged to recruit 20,000 new police officers over the next three years and want to boost stop and search powers.

The Government also wants to increase the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers after a rise in attacks.

A new Police Powers and Protection Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech which will provide the police with additional powers to protect the public and establish a Police Covenant, ensuring officers and their families get the right emotional and physical support.

Ms Patel appeared on Nick Ferrari’s show on LBC in October last year when she announced £10m was being set aside to equip police with Tasers.

She said: "I have been persuaded to the fact that more officers should have the opportunity to be trained and equipped to have tasers and to use tasers.

"That operational decision is down to Chief Constables, but I'm giving them the opportunities.

"I think for new recruits in particular, when you look at the changing nature of crime, when you look at the changing threats that police officers are subject to, I think their training will reflect that.

"That is why, through the funding I've allocated for tasers, I've spoken not just about money for tasers, but for training officers as well to carry tasers should they want to."