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Chair of Kent Police Federation Neil Mennie spoke on BBC Radio Kent this morning about the use of Taser in the force and the decision-making skills officers have to use it, writes Laura Norman-Phipps.
Neil said: “I think this goes wider than just the Taser, any use of force is a very significant decision for an officer to take and even before we get to the Taser officers get a significant amount of judgement training and law training around the use of force and options that are available to them.
“The training itself is extremely rigorous, officers have to apply for the course. Their rigorously tested and trained and not all officers will be successful in passing the course to carry this particular piece of equipment. So I’m perfectly satisfied that we don’t just give these devices out without a very thorough process of taking place.”
When questioned about Amnesty International saying the training was just 3 days, Neil replied: “It is 3 days but I think in isolation this is a piece of health and safety equipment which officers are very well trained in, I think as I’ve described that it is more than just the device itself.”
Presenter Ian Collins said: “So 3 days training for the physical side of things, but of course there is all your other police training you draw on legal and your own measures that you mentally have to calibrate when you’re in a situation there is all of that as well which Amnesty are not factoring into that headline perhaps is what you are saying.”
Neil added: “Red dotting is extremely important asset for us to be able to bring things to a safer conclusion than perhaps some of the other options that may be available”
He concluded: “We have to make decisions at the time an incident is occurring, there is a risk of that but the same there is a risk with any use of force and I think we be having the same conversation if we had to use a baton on a 11 year old which again would be extremely alarming and the psychological impact that could have there is a risk of that but there are many risks associated with use of force.”