Watchdog finds armed officers ‘justified’ in tasering man threatening self-harm

Police were “justified” in shooting a man with a plastic bullet then tasering him after he threatened to stab himself in the throat, a watchdog has ruled.

Officers were sent to North Shore Road in Troon, South Ayrshire, at around 7am on Saturday June 2, 2018, after being alerted to a man threatening to harm himself with a knife.

A report into the incident said they found an intoxicated 23-year-old man armed with a large blade who was behaving in an “unpredictable and erratic manner and threatening to harm himself with the knife”.

Armed officers were called out and half an hour was spent trying to negotiate with the man to drop the knife.

The report states he “became even more erratic, waving the knife at officers and threatening to stab himself in the throat”.

Police then shot him with a plastic bullet, officially known as an Attenuating Energy Projectile (AEP) baton round, but he recovered quickly and was then Tasered by another officer, leaving him “incapacitated”.

He was then arrested.

The incident was reported to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner as is standard following police use of such weapons.

Commissioner Kate Frame found: “The use of both AEP and Taser in the circumstances was necessary, proportionate and justified.”

She added: “The man’s actions posed a danger to himself, the responding officers and potentially the wider public.”

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