Taser use by police in England and Wales reaches record high

The use of Taser stun guns by police forces in England and Wales reached a record high last year, new figures show.

The weapons were fired on 2,500 occasions between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019, which is thought to be the highest number recorded.

Tasers – which deliver a high-voltage electric shock – were deployed in 23,000 incidents in the 12 months to the end of March, according to the Home Office.

In most cases, the devices were aimed at a suspect without being fired.

How a Taser works
(PA Graphics)

The deployment figure is up by more than a third on the year to March 2018 and double the 2016 total.

The Home Office is providing funding to allow an extra 10,000 police officers to carry Tasers.

The weapons – also known as Conductive Energy Devices (CED) – were first trialled in UK police forces in 2003, and a roll-out to all forces was completed in 2013.

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