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Taser use by Sussex Police increases fivefold
3:58pm Wednesday 9th April 2014 in News
Taser use by Sussex Police officers has increased by more than five times in the past 12 months.
The electronic devices were used by the force's officers on 164 occasions in 2013 compared to just 30 times in 2012.
The huge increase follows the announcement last year that up to 160 extra officers will be allowed to carry tasers where previously only specialist firearm officers were able to carry the devices.
Sussex Police had the biggest increase in taser use of any force in the country over the past twelve months.
Tasers were drawn on 74 occasions in the past year while they were fired on 13 occasions compared to eight in 2012.
Chief Inspector Jim Bartlett said that the devices had proven to be a useful option in “resolving serious incidents of violence or threats of violence” in Sussex.
He added: “The rise in the number of times we have deployed tasers is not surprising given that we have increased the number of officers who are trained to use them and can carry them on duty.
“The mere presence of a Taser has successfully defused many situations where officers have been called to people behaving violently, making threats or carrying weapons.
“Of the 164 times they were deployed, on 74 occasions they were drawn but did not need to even be aimed before the incident was resolved.
“In the whole of 2013 they were only fired by officers 13 times which shows how much of a deterrent they can be just by being shown to an offender.”
Katy Bourne Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I remain supportive of the use of taser in instances where there is a real threat of violence to ensure the safety of officers and the general public.”
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