Following our investigation, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has now released a statement on the use of Taser stun guns on young children.
ACPO lead for armed policing, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman said:
“Officers are trained to consider the vulnerability of the person and factors such as age and stature form part of this assessment. Ultimately if an individual is acting violently and presents a risk of serious harm to a member of the public, the officer, or themselves, then Taser is a considered option.
“On a number of occasions Taser has safely resolved situations where a person has been intent on serious self harm.
“Independent medical experts have said the risk to the heart from electricity during the use of Taser is very low.
“The use of Taser on those aged 16 or under represents only a tiny percentage of overall use. Similarly, those under 16 are much less likely to encounter Taser when you compare the number of teenagers that officers deal with every day.
“It is not correct to say Tasers use 50,000 volts to stun people, that is not how they operate. A Taser works not by power, but by the way it sends the current into the body and how the muscles respond.
“Individual officers are accountable in law for the amount of force they use and every Taser deployment is subjected to scrutiny and if necessary independent investigation. In the UK before they deploy with Taser, police officers are selected for the role and subjected to comprehensive training. This training deals with the technicalities of handling and using the device and also the circumstances under which it can be lawfully used. Of significance is the fact that in around 75% of Taser deployments the device is not discharged”.
You can read the statement on the ACPO press site here.