South Wales Police Taser policy to be reviewed in light of gun and knife crime

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It is in response to the number of officers being kicked, punched and spat at on a weekly basis

The chief constable of South Wales Police is ordering a force-wide review of Taser policy.

Matt Jukes said the review comes in light of recent evidence which "suggests that gangs linked to drugs trafficking... are increasingly likely to be carrying weapons".

Nine police officers a week on average are being assaulted in the South Wales force area. The attacks include kicking, biting, punching and spitting.

Chief constable Jukes is also responding to an increase in knife crime in places like London where there have been more murders in the past two months than in New York.

In Cardiff, police said last month that a man had been shot in the face by attackers wearing boiler suits in a crime being linked to County Lines.

County Lines describes the trend of an organised crime group from an area such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool extends their drug dealing enterprise across boundaries.

Mr Jukes revealed his decision to review policy after a large knife was discovered by police after a call-out to the Rumney area of Cardiff.

He said: “Recent evidence suggests that gangs linked to drugs trafficking and County Lines activity are increasingly likely to be carrying weapons.

“As a result I have commissioned a review of what interventions we can make. This will take place over the coming weeks and will look at how we equip officers to protect themselves, and importantly to protect the public.

“We want to start the conversation about how to deal with this issue and be on the front-foot.

“On average, South Wales Police officers are subjected to around nine assaults each week, which sadly include kicking, biting, punching and spitting. There have so far been few occasions involving knives but in the face of emerging trends, I do not intend to sit back and wait for that.

“In the meantime we have specialist Taser-trained officers available to deal with incidents whereever they may arise across South Wales and it is important to reinforce that these are contingencies, in an area where knife crime remains a very small part of the everyday policing challenge.”

asers were first introduced to police forces in the UK in 2004 as non-lethal weapons for police to use to subdue fleeing, or potentially dangerous people.

It was rolled out further in 2008, with officers who receive training and carry a taser known as 'specially trained units'.

Human rights groups and civil liberties campaigners have repeatedly voiced strong concerns about the safety and long-term health effects of the pistol-style weapons.

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Tuesday, 26 January 2021

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