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Kent Police chiefs will not arm all officers with tasers

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

There are no plans to arm all Kent Police officers with tasers, the force’s deputy chief constable has said.

Tony Blaker told the police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott (Con) there are currently 432 officers trained to use the device, 90 of which are members of the specialist firearms team.

And although the total number represents a rise of 96 since April 2018, senior police officials in the county say they do not feel the need for tasers to be carried as standard practice.

Police taser gun. (5993587)
Police taser gun. (5993587)

Mr Blaker said: “It’s a very effective way of controlling dangerous people who are a threat to the police and the public.

“We make sure every (trained) officer has got the latest generation device and we are actively scrutinising our use to make sure it’s ethical and proportionate to a scrutiny panel led by our independent police advisory group.

“We’re very keen to use it effectively – it is really important to make it available to officers, but we don’t see the case for every person to carry at this time.”

The deputy chief constable added taser usage is “still low”, while complaint levels are “very low”.

A national report published by the Police Federation last year suggested 74.6% of officers “for whom the provision…was applicable to their role” wanted a taser “at all times while on duty”.

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