More police officers could be armed with Tasers

More police officers could be armed with Tasers

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Amanda Hall

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More police officers could be armed with Tasers

Taser guns could be carried by more police following a rise in violent attacks on officers.

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Sara Thornton said yesterday more and more officers have approached her saying they would be able to deal with incidents more effectively if they had access to a Taser.

She said: "I've asked for more work to be done to look at how we might increase the deployment of Tasers to our officers.

"I'm concerned that assaults on officers, having previously been decreasing year-on-year, are beginning to creep up once again."

More than 200 assaults on officers across the force were recorded between April 2011 and March 2012 compared with 160 five years ago.

Ms Thornton said the rise had prompted a review into the deployment of electric stun guns.

Taser guns are used by about 200 trained firearms officers out of more than 4,000 in the force.

Last year, the force authorised the use of electric stun guns 789 times but they were only fired 13 times.

A working group has now been set up to look at wider Taser deployment and a report is expected in December.

Ms Thornton also said crime across the area had fallen by 13 per cent despite the force losing about 20 per cent of government funding over the next four years.

Since April violence against a person in Windsor and Maidenhead has fallen by 11.3 per cent and burglary by 15.3 per cent compare to last year.

Violence against a person has also decreased in Slough by 1.7 per cent as well as burglary by 20.4 per cent.

The force plans to save £55.5m by 2015 through efficiency measures including cuts in police staff and a collaboration with Hampshire Police which started last year and is expected to save £8.5m.

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