Priti Patel insists 'we're making sure we do everything we can to empower our officers' after police Taser move

Ms Patel announced earlier today that volunteer police officers will be given powers to carry Tasers

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Priti Patel has insisted the Government is “making sure we do everything we can to empower officers”.

Ms Patel’s comments come after she announced that volunteer officers in England and Wales will be given powers to carry Tasers to defend the public from harm.

Speaking after the announcement, the Home Secretary said: “We are absolutely making sure we’re doing everything we can to equip and empower our frontline officers.

Priti Patel
Priti Patel
Ms Patel announced today that special constables will be given powers to carry Tasers
Ms Patel announced today that special constables will be given powers to carry Tasers

“I made a Taser announcement almost two years ago now for police officers along with the money, resourcing and training.

“And for specials in particular, the choice is of course down to chief constables.

“And I’d urge these chief constables to work with us in the resourcing and the training for these special constables.”

Allowing special constables to carry Tasers, if authorised by their chief officers, will ensure they are not “at a disadvantage when facing an attacker wielding a knife or a marauding terrorist”, the Home Office said.

But Amnesty International UK’s policing expert warned that arming volunteer officers is “dangerous” and will inevitably lead to “more instances of misuse, serious harm and death from Tasers”.

The volunteers will receive the same Taser training as constables, with deployment of the weapons remaining an operational matter for police chiefs.

The Home Office said there are currently 8,901 special constables in forces in England and Wales, who are fully trained and undertake the same duties as regular police officers.