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  1. ITV Report

Police taser use

South Yorkshire Police fired Tasers on 11 people so far this year, including nine who were threatening to self harm, according to national figures released by the police.

Forces across the country have revealed their varied use of Taser guns on people who were not charged with any offence.

Fifteen forces in England and Wales provided details of incidents where the weapons had been fired despite criminal charges not being brought by police.

According to Freedom of Information (FOI) responses, Leicestershire Police used Tasers on 21 occasions between January and October this year on people not charged with any offence, with 19 incidents in 2011 and 11 in 2010.

The reasons for using the guns included threats with offensive weapons, preventing serious injury to an individual and resisting arrest.

Tasers were also used by the force to tackle large scale public disorder involving more than 150 people ejected from a pub.

Derbyshire Constabulary recorded 19 incidents since 2010 where the weapon was used on men who were not charged.

Eleven incidents were to prevent self harming, including a 57-year-old man, while on eight occasions officers were being threatened or feared they were about to be assaulted.

Lancashire Police did not reveal how many times Taser guns had been used on people not charged with an offence, stating it would take too long to compile the information under FOI rules.

The force was criticised in October after a blind stroke victim was shot in the back with a 50,000-volt Taser stun gun by an officer who mistook his white stick for a samurai sword.

Colin Farmer, 62, launched a bid for compensation following the incident in Chorley, Lancashire, which happened after reports were received of a man walking through the town centre with a martial arts weapon.

Lancashire Police did reveal, however, that officers deployed Taser guns on 569 occasions between January 1, 2010 and November 5 this year.

Of these incidents, the Taser was either fired or used in drive-stun mode (pressed against the person and discharged) 157 times, the force said.