Good Samaritan Tasered By Cops As He Tries To Help
Complaints about the use of Tasers have been increasing as police gear up to put the controversial 50,000-volt devices in the hands of more officers.
Among those who have complained are a 14-year-old girl, a ‘good Samaritan’ who was trying to help police, two cyclists and a man who said he refused to take off his underpants in custody.
Critics said the complaints, running at the rate of one every three days, should make chief constables think even more carefully about expanding use of the potentially deadly weapons.
Complaints: One complaint about the use of tasers is issued every three days. A 14-year-old girl is among those who have raised concerns
But rank-and-file police are hopeful they will soon receive Government backing for their bid to give every front-line officer access to a Taser.
Figures obtained by the Daily Mail using Freedom of Information laws revealed that at least 399 complaints have been made about Tasers over the past three years.
One came from a 14-year-old girl who was accidentally shot as officers tried to arrest a suspect in Nottingham.
On Monday, the Mail reported that Tasers are used against children under 18 more than 140 times a year.
In Lancashire, officers are investigating a case in which a man said he was tasered for refusing to take his pants off while in custody.
A Devon and Cornwall officer was disciplined after tasering a man and then shocking him again after he was handcuffed and lying on the ground.
In Lincolnshire, a man accused police of ‘excessive force’ after he was tasered while riding his bicycle, making him fall off. A similar incident took place in Humberside.
A handful of forces paid compensation after confrontations involving Tasers. Durham police paid £4,000 to a man who said he was shot while trying to help officers catch a suspect.
Under fire: 399 complaints have been made about tasers in the last three years. Critics claim those hit by tasers can suffer cardiac arrests, burns, and serious head wounds from falling
Of the 37 forces who responded to the survey, the vast majority of complaints, 151, were received by the Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest force.
Officials at the Independent Police Complaints Commission are concerned at Tasers being used in police custody, confined spaces and on vulnerable people.
Simon Chesterman, the UK’s most senior officer responsible for Taser use, said the weapons have reduced the number of assaults on officers and made the public safer.
But the West Mercia Deputy Chief Constable agreed that it is unacceptable to taser someone on a bicycle.
He added: ‘I would never describe Taser as a risk-free option, but there are also risks to being hit with a baton or bitten by a police dog.’