Up to 60% of police officers could get tasers as Priti Patel announces millions in funding

Up to 60% of police officers could be equipped with Tasers under plans announced by Priti Patel as she outlined proposals aimed at making the Tories appear tough on crime.

The Home Secretary committed funding to tackle county lines gangs that exploit children and other vulnerable people during a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Tuesday.​

Ms Patel, the daughter of Ugandan Asians, also reiterated a tough stance on immigration ahead of an anticipated general election, pledging to "end the free movement of people once and for all".​

Saying law and order is "central to our DNA as Conservatives", Ms Patel pledged a £10 million ringfenced fund to equip up to 60% of police officers with Tasers.​

"It is the job of chief constables to make that operational decision," she told the conference.​

"It is the job of the home secretary to empower them to do so.​

"I am giving them that power."​

Ms Patel received a a standing ovation from some members of the crowd in Manchester. Credit: PA

And Ms Patel - warning criminals "we are coming after you" - promised a £20 million investment to aid in identifying and dismantling county lines drugs gangs.​

"The kingpins of these criminal gangs are exploiting children," she said.​"Forcing them to carry crack cocaine and heroin across rural and coastal communities.​

"Threatening them into carrying guns and knives as 'protection'.​"Manipulating them into killing innocent people."​

Ms Patel also pledged a £25 million "safer streets fund" for new security measures to tackle Britain's "worst crime spots".​

Funding would be made available to Police and Crime Commissioners to invest in preventative measures to tackle burglaries, thefts and shoplifting.​

Ms Patel also reiterated a plan to recruit 20,000 new police officers and the commitment to introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system after Brexit.​

She said her role as Home Secretary at this "defining moment" has a particular brief when it "comes to taking back control".​

"It is to end the free movement of people once and for all," she said.