'Majority of public' support equipping police with Tasers

Tasers were introduced by UK police forces in 2003 following trials in some force areas Credit: PA

A majority of the public approve of police carrying Tasers when on patrol, according to a survey.

Four out of five respondents to a poll commissioned by the Police Federation of England and Wales, said it would make no difference to them approaching an officer for assistance, or that they would be more likely to do so, if the officer were carrying a Taser.

The body, which represents rank-and-file officers, used the findings from the survey of 2,004 adults to push the stun gun to be more widely adopted.

Chairman of the federation Steve White said: "We know officers support the use of Taser and Body Worn Video, and now we have the evidence that shows the public do as well.

"Yesterday I wrote to all chief constables and commissioners across England and Wales, outlining the survey results and asking them to support a wider rollout of Taser and call for increased government funding to assist with this."

Tasers were introduced by UK police forces in 2003 following trials in some force areas, but a number of deaths following their use have sparked scrutiny of the weapon.

The findings come as a new replacement model of Taser, the X2, awaits final Home Office approval before it can be rolled out to frontline officers.

Matt Spencer, managing director for Taser UK, said: "We are confident that the X2 can help to make police officers more effective and more accountable - two things we know the police and the public want to see."

Only 17% of those surveyed disagreed that all police officers should be given the option of being equipped with a Taser.