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PCC Munro Writes to National Police Body, Supporting Use of Tasers For Officers

Published on: 19 May, 2020
Updated on: 21 May, 2020

Use of Tasers has been backed by David Munro, the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, after the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) expressed concerns nationally.

The IOPC has called for greater scrutiny of incidents where Tasers were used in London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.

The PCC has written to the IOPC, expressing his unease about making the statement ahead of a more comprehensive review which, he thought, could exacerbate tensions between communities and police during a time of national anxiety.

He said if officers are reluctant to deploy Tasers in situations where its use is objectively justified, this could cause greater harm to people, police and potential targets.

In March, he reiterated his backing for every officer who wishes to carry a Taser, after the success of a joint bid for an additional 560 devices to be shared between Surrey and Sussex police:

PCC David Munro

“I believe we must give our officers the necessary tools to do their job,” he said. “Tasers are used as a last resort but offer valuable protection for officers who place themselves in harm’s way for the safety of our communities.

“I believe, as the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ national lead for Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, it is absolutely right that this use is carefully monitored, including actively addressing any suspicion or instance of discrimination.

“In most cases, the drawing of a Taser acts as a powerful deterrent without being discharged. ‘Red dotting’ is highly effective at de-escalating situations.

“It is essential Surrey officers know we value their safety in these scenarios, and continue to support the fair and proportionate use of Tasers to protect themselves and the public.”

Every incident where a Taser is drawn in Surrey is reviewed. Joint Taser training in Surrey and Sussex has been recognised as among the best in England and Wales.

There is a copy of the letter from the PCC here.

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Responses to PCC Munro Writes to National Police Body, Supporting Use of Tasers For Officers

  1. George Potter Reply

    May 19, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    The cognitive dissonance is remarkable. In Surrey and Sussex Taser use is very low and the training on how to use them is, as the article says, some of the best in the country.

    Meanwhile, the IOPC has flagged up concerns over potential over-use of Tasers in the large urban areas of London, Manchester and Birmingham, yet our Police and Crime Commissioner reacts as though this is some sort of attack on policing in Surrey.

    Thank goodness our police officers are a lot less gung-ho about using weapons than the politician in charge of the force. With this sort of “get tough” rhetoric, anyone would think the PCC election had not been postponed for 12 months.

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    May 19, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    They could always go back to the old way of policing – select officers over 6ft and over 16st!

  3. Martin Elliott Reply

    May 19, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    David Munro is yet again being disingenuous.

    Yes, of course, there is a national and local protocol, and every time a taser is ‘drawn’ there is a review. The training is good, but how often is that refreshed? Especially regarding the rules of when a taser can be drawn and in particular, discharged.

    The IOPC has called for greater scrutiny of incidents to reassure the public that Tasers really are clearly a “last resort”, along with firearms. The thing is with that glib statement is that it is incomplete.

    As I understand it, Taser is one of several “last resorts” for the protection of officers and the public from harm.

    All these incidents seem to be outside that protocol and more examples of use to prevent the escape of a suspect. Is that allowed under the SPS protocol?

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