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Taser is a vital piece of protective equipment and essential in ensuring public safety and protecting officers from assaults.
That is the response of the PFEW National Chair John Apter following a Sky News report which finds police have fired Tasers at children as young at 13 and dozens of animals in the last few years.
The figures, obtained by Freedom of Information request to all forces in England and Wales, show a 77-year-old pensioner and at least 37 dogs were hit by stun guns between January 2016 and November 2018.
PFEW National Chair John Apter, said: “Not only are these figures minuscule but it’s also important for me to state that in this country a child is considered to be anybody under the age of 18.
“But let me put this into some context here – we have children killing children with knives on our streets. We need our officers to have access to Taser, a crucial piece of protective equipment, so that they can protect themselves from such violence and prevent further harm to the public.
"When we talk about use of Taser on dogs, these are not your average friendly family pet or man’s best friend that we are dealing with here. These are dogs behaving violently and the use of Taser is in these circumstances is to protect the public and officers themselves from harm.
“And my argument here is, what is the alternative? Firearms?
“There is absolutely no doubt that Taser has saved lives and research shows that the police do have support from the public.”
Independent research carried out by Ipsos shows that the police do have the public’s support in using the vital piece of protective equipment.
89% of the public asked said forces should be allowed to train and equip officers if the use of Taser is automatically recorded by Body Worn Video and four out of five people said it would make no difference to their decision, or they would be more likely, to approach an officer for assistance if they were carrying a Taser.
"I believe that a police officer who wants to be trained and issued with Taser should be - far too many of my colleagues are being violently assaulted and attacked and my colleagues deserve to be able to protect themselves”, John concluded.