A CHIEF CONSTABLE is fighting back against violence in lawless Britain by arming all his officers with Taser stun guns.
Nick Adderley of Northampton Police, said “enough is enough” and pledged to tackle the scourge of violent assaults with the 50,000-volt weapons for frontline staff.
Mr Adderley’s force will become the first in Britain to issue Tasers as standard, in a move backed by his police and crime commissioner.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Express last night, he said: “I can’t sit here and preside over a situation where my officers are exposed to increasing levels of violence when at my disposal is equipment that could save an officer’s life. Enough is enough. Mine will be the first force to issue a Taser to every officer who wants one.”
There is mounting concern tens of thousands of beat officers are ill-equipped to deal with the life-threatening danger posed by criminals operating with impunity on Britain’s Wild West streets.
In Northamptonshire, there has been a near 50 percent increase in attacks on police in two years.
Standard issue police protective equipment includes a baton, CS spray, leg and arm restraints and handcuffs.
But the deployment of Tasers is a matter for individual forces, meaning the majority of officers do not carry them because of the cost.
There are only around 17,000 Taser-trained police out of 123,000 officers in England and Wales.
Experts want the Home Office to fund the purchase, training and use of the weapon to ensure there is blanket coverage to combat the violence officers face every day.
Police Federation of England and Wales national chairman John Apter said: “We should ensure every officer who wants to carry a Taser can do so. Officer safety should never come second to balancing the books.
“We can’t have police officers feeling vulnerable because they don’t have the equipment to protect and defend themselves – that’s morally incomprehensible.”
The call to arms comes after one of policing’s darkest weeks.
Newlywed PC Andrew Harper, 28, was dragged to his death on Thursday night while responding to a reported burglary in Berkshire.
PC Harper, with the Thames Valley force, was the first officer to die on duty since PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death outside Parliament in March 2017.
A week earlier, Metropolitan Policeman PC Stuart Outten, 28, was stabbed in the head as he tried to stop a van in Leyton, east London.
He Tasered his assailant, despite his horrific injuries.
PC Gareth Phillips, 42, was left with a broken pelvis and head, abdominal and other internal injuries after he was run over with his own patrol car in Birmingham.
Mr Adderley said it would take 18 months to two years to train and equip all frontline officers, at an initial cost of £220,000.
Priority will be given to first response officers and neighbourhood units before the weapon is rolled out across the force.
Mr Adderley said: “It is my submission Taser will be standard issue equipment in three years, but I am not prepared to wait, so I have pressed the button now.
“I went to see the Police and Fire Crime Commissioner [Stephen Mold] yesterday and he was fully supportive.
“There are people out there who are prepared to seriously injure, or worse.
“We haven’t moved with the times and we have to move with the times to combat the threat we are facing daily from those who simply have no respect for law and order.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I sat here and didn’t take the steps necessary to give my officers equipment that could save their lives and the lives of the public we serve.”
A recent Police Federation survey found 94 percent of officers said Tasers should be issued to more frontline officers.
Home Office figures show the “conducted energy devices” were used in 17,100 incidents in the year to March 2018, up from 11,300 the year before.
However, in 85 per cent of cases, they were not discharged.
If an officer draws, aims and places a Taser red dot on the suspect, the weapon is “used”, but not discharged.
It is usually enough to quell the threat.
The most common reason for Taser use is personal protection and to make an arrest.
An officer’s ability to carry a Taser is determined by the amount of time they have been in the force.
They are required to have the support of their supervisor, endorsement at superintendent level and pass the training course.
The weapon was first introduced in 2004 on a trial basis before it was used by specially trained units.
Officers receive 18 hours of training over three days, the longest of anywhere in the world.
Tory MP David Davies, a former Special Constable who received Taser instruction, said: “All officers should be trained to use Taser and carry them if they wish.
“It is more effective in many situations than the asp [baton] and is less likely to cause injury to the subject.”
“The point of the Taser is to keep somebody at bay. In the vast majority of cases, it is not deployed.”
Police were victims of 10,399 assaults which caused injuries last year, up 32 percent from 7,903 in 2015-2016.
There were a further 20,578 assaults that did not cause injuries.