09 Dec 2016
Public show support for officers carrying Taser
The public have shown their support for police officers having access to Taser, dispelling the myth that it erodes community policing or the British model of policing by consent.
A survey, commissioned by the Police Federation of England and Wales, has shown 71% of respondents consider it acceptable for police officers to carry Taser when on patrol.
Four out of five surveyed 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. In addition, 89% said forces should be allowed to train and equip officers if the use of Taser is automatically recorded by Body Worn Video.
Steve White, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We know officers support the use of Taser and Body Worn Video, and now we have the evidence that shows the public do as well.”
“Yesterday I wrote to all chief constables and commissioners across England and Wales, outlining the survey results and asking them to support a wider rollout of Taser and call for increased government funding to assist with this.”
The government has previously stated it is committed to providing the police with the necessary tools to protect individuals and the communities in which they live.
Taser remains a vital tool in a time of heightened threat and increased violence against officers. Home Office statistics suggest that an officer is assaulted every 22 minutes in England and Wales but other evidence sources indicate that the actual number is much greater.
The survey results come as a new replacement model of Taser, the X2, awaits final Home Office approval before it can be rolled out to frontline officers, something the Police Federation fully supports.
Steve White said: “Any equipment that helps improve the safety of not just police officers doing their duty, but also the public, is an absolute must. You cannot put a price on safety. The current model is obsolete with spare parts difficult to come by, while the X2 is even safer and more effective.
“The public clearly have their eyes wide open to the very real threats that exist. Attitudes are changing and people recognise the benefits Taser can offer.”
Notes to editors:
- The survey was carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Police Federation of England & Wales, using the online omnibus.
- The research took place between Friday 11th and Monday 15th November, 2016 with a nationally representative quota sample of 2,004 adults 16-75 in England and Wales.
- Other key findings include:
- 97% of respondents said they were aware of what a Taser is;
- 80% of respondents said it would make no difference to them approaching a police officer for assistance, or they would be more likely to, if the officer were carrying a Taser;
- 71% of respondents said they feel it is acceptable for a police officer to carry a Taser when going out on patrol; and 89% said they feel it is acceptable for police officers to carry Body Worn Video on patrol;
- 79% of respondents said that forces should be allowed to train and equip officers if Tasers were to be issued to police officers working alone;
- 89% of respondents said that forces should be allowed to train and equip officers if the use of Taser is automatically recorded by a camera mounted on the police officer’s uniform;
- Only 17% disagree that all police officers should be given the option of being equipped with Taser.
- The Police Federation of England and Wales, represents almost 122,000 police officers up to and including the rank of Chief Inspector. Established by statute, it is responsible not only for the welfare of our members, but also ensuring that their views on all aspects of policing, including relevant legislation, are relayed to government, opinion formers and key stakeholders. The Police Federation’s membership status currently stands at 98%. For more information visit www.polfed.org
Police Federation of England and Wales
01372 3520 18/14/16
07843 292912 (out of hours only)