Hampshire police chief believes tasers should be ‘mandatory kit’

HAMPSHIRE Police Federation hopes the county’s force is not ‘penalised’ in the bidding process for tasers after it has already spent £1m on the kit.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 2:55 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 5:15 pm
A police officer with his taser device. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Police forces across England and Wales are bidding for a share of £10m that the government has put towards equipping more officers with taser devices.

However, after already spending almost £1m in 2018 on tasers Hampshire police chiefs are concerned they could miss out on additional funding for what they consider a vital resource.

Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation Alex Charge said: ‘Obviously that came from money that otherwise could have been spent on other things. What I’m concerned about is that the Home Office has made £10m available and Hampshire Constabulary needs to make sure they get a fair share of that money.

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‘The force shouldn’t be penalised by the government for making a sensible decision to spend their money early on what is a really important bit of kit in terms of officers’ confidence and protecting members of the public.’

Each force has to decide how much funding to apply for based on the threat and risk in their local area. However, Mr Charge said ultimately all police officers should be issued with a taser.

‘Ultimately taser devices should be just like your baton or your handcuffs. I accept there’s an element of training and an element of fitness to carry because we need to remember it’s a firearm and it isn’t the solution to every problem in policing,’ he said.

‘It should be a mandatory bit of kit that all officers have. When I speak to my colleagues they are reassured by having it and it’s one of those things that you’d rather have and not need than need and not have,’ added Alex.