WEST Mercia Police’s Assistant Chief Constable has responded to the decision taken by the Northamptonshire force this week to become the first in the country to arm all of its frontline officers with Tasers.
Martin Evans said he was aware of the decision but hinted his force would not be following suit.
“West Mercia Police regularly reviews the number of Taser officers across the entire force to ensure we have appropriate coverage to provide the right level of protection for the public and this is a practice we continue as we move forwards.“
The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Nick Adderley said he took the decision because ‘enough was enough’ with regard to attacks on his officers.
The move will give 300 extra officers the option to be trained and equipped with the electronic devices if they so wished with training costing around £600 per officer and taking 18 months to implement.
The force added the cost was not significant when compared to the level of injury and days lost due to sickness.
Northamptonshire has seen a 50 per cent increase in attacks on police officers, adding it was a trend mirrored around the country.
A recent Police Federation survey found 94 per cent of officers said Tasers should be issued to more frontline officers.
Mr Adderley added: “Every week, I am made aware of more and more sickening attacks on my officers – they are spat at, assaulted on a daily basis and are being exposed to increasing levels of violence when they are deployed to incidents.
“No one comes to work to be assaulted and I want to make it crystal clear that my officers certainly don’t.
“It’s time to give all front-line officers the ability to defend themselves and defend members of the public, which involves equipping them with more than a baton, handcuffs and a can of pepper spray.
“This isn’t a decision I have taken lightly, but there comes a time when we have to accept that risks to front-line officers have changed dramatically in the past ten years and I have responsibility as Chief Constable to respond accordingly.”
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