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PC suspended over A&E taser threat
A police officer has been suspended after allegedly threatening to shoot a patient with a Taser at a busy hospital.
The incident is said to have taken place in the casualty department at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards.
Sussex Police is now investigating the incident and on Monday confirmed the officer involved has been suspended from the force.
He is currently being paid but is not on duty, the force told The Argus.
A force spokesman said: “The force’s professional standards department is investigating an allegation regarding an officer’s use of Taser after being called to deal with a drunk and unruly patient at Conquest Hospital on Friday, March 21, at 11.30pm.
“The Taser was not discharged and the patient, a man aged 31 from Hastings, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.
“He has been released on bail until April 26.
Investigation “A 35-year-old male PC based in East Sussex has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing.
“Officers who carry Tasers outside of the firearms unit must pass suitability checks before undergoing a thorough four-day training programme.
“This includes tactical and handling assessments and is designed to test decision making under pressure.”
A source told The Argus the officer “drew a Taser on a patient”. He added: “He is a uniformed response officer.
“[I believe] it was the staff at the Conquest Hospital that made the complaint to Sussex Police, who witnessed the officer’s actions.
“This led to him being interviewed.”
An East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident at Conquest Hospital on March 21.
“The matter is being dealt with by Sussex Police.”
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 12 months.
Tasers were drawn on 74 occasions in the past year while they were fired on 13 occasions compared to eight in 2012.
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