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South Wales Police to double the number of officers trained to carry Tasers

Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

South Wales Police is to double its number of Taser-trained officers in the next year following a wide-ranging review.

The review, started in spring 2018, looked into the best ways for police officers to protect the public and themselves in the face of challenges including assaults on officers, as well as the national rise in knife crime and “County Lines”.

As a result , South Wales Police will increase its proportion of Taser-trained officers from 10% of all officers to 20% in the next 12 months That means 281 more officers will be trained. A similar increase is planned for the following year.

The increase will kick in from the start of 2019.

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I am satisfied that the Chief Constable’s decision is in the public interest in every way. The use of a Taser is often misunderstood and misrepresented so it’s important to stress that – properly used – it is a means of preventing injury, not of causing injury.

Tasers are frequently used to prevent violence against police officers but also against members of the public and individuals who need to be restrained. I have looked specifically at the way in which Tasers are used by South Wales Police as part of my role in holding the Chief Constable to account for operational policing. As a result, I am very confident that the use of Taser by our officers is proportionate and frequently prevents harm.

Very often, the Taser isn’t even used because its very presence has been enough to deter an offender. In the vast majority of cases where Taser is carried, it is not deployed – and, even when it is deployed, prevention of violence comes from measures short of discharge such as projecting a laser’s red dot on to the suspect.

– Rt Hon Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner