MORE police officers are to be equipped with Taser stun guns.
Sussex Police are planning to give 160 officers training to use a Taser, which causes temporary incapacitation through an electrical current.
Authorised firearms officers have been using Taser for a number of years, but Sussex will now join Hampshire by introducing it to a small number of specialist officers.
Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, head of operations, said: ‘Sussex police was one of the small number of forces that have previously restricted the use of Taser to specialist firearms officers. Experience, both locally and nationally, has shown that it can act as a deterrent to the escalation of violence. Nearly 70 per cent of incidents end without it being discharged.
‘We would only deploy Taser to an incident where there was a real threat of violence. In many cases Taser has been shown to have a deterrent effect and reduces the levels of force an officer has had to use such as using a baton or captor spray.
‘By extending its use to a small number of highly trained local officers, we will be able to reduce the number of times fully armed officers are deployed on our streets.
‘You will not be seeing Taser in day-to-day use by officers or PCSOs undertaking normal patrol activities in Sussex.’