Over the past few years, I have noticed more and more clients coming to me complaining about the use of tasers.
Earlier this month the IPCC released a report which examined the growing number of complaints about Taser use by police between 2004 to 2013.
They acknowledge that Tasers “can be a valuable tool in helping police officers manage difficult and challenging situations”, and also note that with more officers equipped with Tasers, and a rise in complaints about their use, it recommended that forces “should guard against the possibility that it is being over-used.”
From the cases that I have been involved with, it is certainly my impression that the police are using tasers more and more and appear, at times, to do so indiscriminately. Even though most forces have policies that (rightly) warn against the use of tasers unnecessarily as they can be potentially lethal (as in the recent tragic case of Andrew Pimlott in Plymouth) it seems that officers are not deterred.
I have had cases where the police have acknowledged that they tasered an innocent bystander at an incident and another where a client was tasered whilst in a cell at a police station – you may wonder why they didn’t simply leave the cell and close the door …
It’s imperative that all the various complaints are collated and lessons learned.
Andrew Guile, Solicitor/Director
Posted on Wednesday, 30th July 2014