'Major concerns' over point-blank use of Tasers

"Major concerns" remain over police using Tasers at point-blank range in what is "purely a means of pain compliance", a watchdog has said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that the highly controversial practice is still being used, despite the tactic being largely removed from officer training.

Police officer holding a Taser Credit: PA

In 2013 Tasers were used 287 times in so-called "drive-stun" mode, when the weapon without a cartridge is held directly against the body, out of a total of 1,733 occasions where the weapons were fired.

The IPCC has major concerns about the use of Tasers in drive-stun mode, where the Taser is applied directly to the body without a cartridge rather than fired from a distance.

When used in this way it is purely a means of pain compliance. Yet in several of the cases we reviewed, where it was used for the purpose of gaining compliance, it had the opposite effect, stimulating further resistance.

– IPCC Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone