APCC Chair, Katy Bourne OBE PCC said:
“This news comes at a time when assaults on police officers are one of the most serious topical policing issues nationally. PCCs recognise and appreciate the exceptional and often dangerous job that officers do to protect the public in our communities and the news of recent attacks have resonated with the public and throughout our discussions around police officer safety.
"Taser is one of a number of tactical options available to police officers when dealing with an incident with the potential for conflict. Where it has been authorised for use, we must ensure that the appropriate training is in place and that any usage is proportionate, lawful and accountable.
“Ultimately the decision to give tasers to more officers is an operational one for local Chief Constables to make in conjunction with their PCC. I fully support my Chief Constable, which is why Sussex Police is in the process of issuing tasers to all frontline officers that want one.”
APCC use of force lead, Martyn Underhill PCC said:
“The priority for all Police and Crime Commissioners, alongside keeping the public safe, is the protection and safety of police officers and staff.
“The decision to increase the number of Taser Trained Officers is primarily an operational one for Chief Constables to make in discussion with their Police and Crime Commissioner.
“Most PCCs fully acknowledge the need for more Taser trained officers in order to better protect our communities and many are already investing to increase the numbers. We will continue to work alongside Ministers and Chief Constables around the details of this announcement, particularly around the ring-fencing of the funds, as we know that there are concerns amongst PCCs about how this will operate.
“We have a long-established principle of policing by consent in this country, so it is important that the public continues to be consulted on any changes to police deployment of this nature. We also want to work with our policing partners to ensure that there is a robust evidence base around increased use of Taser and the corresponding impact on the number of assaults on police officers.”
The Home Office has today made an announcement relating to Taser uplift, which you can read here.