The death of a man who was shot by a Greater Manchester Police taser has led to a national inquiry into the safety of stun guns. 23 year old Jordan Begley was unarmed when he was hit by 50 thousand volts after a disturbance at his family home two years ago. Now, the National Police Chiefs Council is calling on the Government for an independent review into the use of tasers.
The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy has defended the use of tasers by British police.
It comes as Police chiefs call for a safety review of tasers following the verdict in the inquest of Jordan Begley from Manchester.
Sir Peter Fahy says the record of British Police in terms of force is "remarkable."
There's always more we can learn. All my officers know that we act with restraint and that for any officer, their best weapon is their mouth
Home Office statistics show Police in the North West used tasers 1,447 times in 2014.
This was the third highest in the country with Police in London using tasers the most with 1,962 uses and West Midlands second with 1,573 uses.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has called for an independent body to look in detail at the medical evidence and to decide if safety advice on tasers should be changed in light of the death of Jordan Begley and the Home Office's statistics on taser use.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the NPCC's lead on less-lethal weapons, said the verdict "raises some concern about the use of Taser".
I will be asking the Surgeon General - along with the Home Office - to refer the detailed medical evidence in this case to an independent body in order that they can determine if it is necessary to amend their advice of the safety of this weapon. Their conclusions will be published."
Officers who take the decision to fire the weapon do so in the knowledge that their often split second decision to use force will be judged in detail with the benefit of hindsight over potentially many years and through multiple investigations.
“Officers will not necessarily know the background or health of the person they are confronting, but they must deal with the immediate threat first.
What is important is that if Taser has to be fired to deal with the threat, that officers provide appropriate after care to the subject and are trained to deal with any medical emergency that may follow.
The use of Tasers by police has soared by 50% in the past five years, figures have revealed.
But deployments of the controversial stun gun have marginally dipped this year, for the first time since at least 2010.
The figures come days after a jury found that a police officer's use of a 50,000-voltTaser contributed to the death of factory worker Jordon Begley, 23, while he was being restrained.
The landmark verdict is believed to be the first time a UK jury has found a Taser contributed to a death, and has raised fresh questions about use of the weapon.
Figures show Tasers were used 10,062 times last year, up from 6,649 in 2010 but marginally down from 10,380 in 2013.
Officers used the highest "fired" setting, which sends an electric shock which incapacitates the victim, 1,724 times last year.
The stun setting, which sends out painful shocks, was used 256 times.
The police officers involved in the Jordon Begley case have been put on restricted duties after an inquest ruled they were "more concerned with their own welfare" than the man they had tasered. . Jordon Begley was shot with the 50,000 volt stun gun and hit with “distraction strikes” while being restrained and handcuffed by three armed officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP). He died in hospital about two hours later.
While the initial Taser shock did not cause his heart to stop, the jury concluded that the use of the Taser and the restraint “more than materially contributed” to a “package” of stressful factors leading to Mr Begley’s fatal cardiac arrest, the inquest at Manchester Civil Courts of Justice heard.
In damning conclusions, the jury also said the officer who pulled the trigger, PC Terence Donnelly, inappropriately and unreasonably used the stun gun for longer than was necessary.
Mr Begley’s family now intend to sue GMP after the incident at the family home in Gorton.
In this special report Matt O'Donoghue visits the home of Taser in Arizona. They are the manufacturers of the stun gun used in the case of Jordon Begley.
A jury has decided the use of a taser against 23-year-old factory worker Jordon Begley was "inappropriate" and contributed to his death by cardiac arrest.
Firstly I would like to offer our sincere sympathies to Mrs Begley and her family who have been left devastated by Jordon’s death.
Today, a jury has returned a narrative verdict into Jordon's death following very detailed consideration of evidence heard during a five-week Inquest.
That narrative verdict has raised a number of serious concerns, including the way the Taser was used, the use of force by the officers after the Taser was deployed and about the communication between the officers who attended Jordon’s home.
Given the gravity of those concerns, we will now need to take time to examine the jury's findings in detail, and liaise with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) who carried out an independent investigation into Jordon's death, before it would be appropriate to make any further public comment.
In considering the circumstances of Jordon's death, the jury have raised some troubling concerns. We will ensure that these are thoroughly examined and that every possible lesson is learned from this tragic case.
In the interim, I have decided to restrict the operational duties of the officers involved in the Taser discharge and restraint until we have had time to fully consider the Coroner's comments and have further dialogue with the IPCC.
The mother of Jordon Begley has talked about her delight at finally hearing the truth about how her son died.
Speaking to ITV Granada Reports Dorothy Begley said Jordon's treatment by Greater Manchester Police officers had been "horrific and horrendous".
The 23-year-old factory worker died after being tasered at home in Gorton almost exactly two years ago on July 10th 2013.