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Sharp rise in Taser use on children in London

The user of Tasers against children by the Metropolitan Police has dramatically increased. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Taser use against children by the Metropolitan Police has risen nearly six-fold over four years, campaigners have revealed.

Stun guns were used on children 131 times between 2008 and 2012 across all but nine London boroughs, rising from nine in 2008 to 53 in 2012, the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) said.

The figures, obtained by a Freedom of Information request by the CRAE, were published as part of a wider report into children and human rights in London.

In Croydon, Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham children were Tasered 51 times between 2008 and 2012, accounting for 40% of the total.

Tasers are a 'good option' for police

Simon Chesterman, the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead on tasers, tells ITV London that tasers are a 'good option' for police to have at hand.

He was speaking at a taser training exercise for the Metropolitan Police today. Just yesterday a man was tasered by police in Battersea for threatening them with knives. He was later arrested for the attempted murder of a police officer.

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Man pointing knife at his throat

The 42-year-old was challenged by police just before 9pm yesterday but failed to respond so the electronic weapon was used.

The man had been shouting in the road and appeared to have a knife that he was pointing at his throat.

He suffered a minor head injury when he fell and was taken to hospital as a precaution. He was later arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife and affray, and remains in custody.

Two police officers from the Diplomatic Protection Group fired the Taser.

It follows a separate incident last month when police outside Buckingham Palace used a Taser on another man who was also accused of brandishing a knife.