Taser drawn by Hampshire police ON 70--year-old woman

Police taser gun
Police taser gun
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A taser was used by Hampshire police on a 70-year-old woman.

Statistics from the Home Office gained from a Freedom of Information request showed the weapon has been used thousands of times by police in the past five years, with a rise in the use against children.

There were 158 cases last year involving children under 16, the figures showed, including a Taser being drawn on a nine-year-old boy.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘In the incident involving a nine-year-old boy, the Taser was “drawn” only in an attempt to calm the situation down where there was an allegation of a knife being used. As a result, the situation was resolved without any force being used.

‘Use of Taser is never taken lightly and all deployments are carefully reviewed.’

In another incident, a Taser was drawn against a 91-year-old man. However Suffolk Police said they could find no record of it.

Black people are three times more likely to have a Taser used against them than white people, the figures suggest.

Tasers were used - meaning they were drawn, aimed or fired – by police 38,135 times between 2010 and 2015.

In 80 per cent of cases the weapon was not discharged.

In over 12 per cent of cases in which ethnicity was recorded – more than 36,000 of the 38,000 incidents – the person against whom the Taser was used was black and of African-Caribbean origin or of mixed white and African-Caribbean origin.

A Taser was used against people under the age of 18 in 522 cases, compared with 349 times in 2010.

In February the Police Federation voted for all uniformed officers to be issued with Tasers.