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Public support for Taser

Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of the people who took part in a Police Federation survey supported police officers having access to Taser.

And 89 per cent said forces should be allowed to train and equip officers if the use of Taser is automatically recorded by body worn video.

The survey results, announced late last week, come just as the Force puts in place plans to train an extra 150 officers in the use of Taser.

"We have welcomed the Force decision to train and equip more officers with Taser," says Tiff Lynch, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation, "Training starts in the New Year so it will not be too long before we start to see more officers equipped with Taser.

"The results of this survey show that the public understand the benefits they can bring to the Force in terms of protecting communities but also protecting police officers themselves."

On the back of the survey results, Steve White, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales which commissioned the survey, wrote to all chief constables and police and crime commissioners asking them to support a wider roll-out of Taser and call for increased Government funding to assist with this.

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 front-line officers, something the Police Federation fully supports.

Steve White explained: "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 The current model is obsolete with spare parts difficult to come by, while the X2 is even safer and more effective.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."

The survey was carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the PFEW using the online omnibus. The research took place in November with a nationally representative quota sample of 2,004 adults aged 16-75 in England and Wales.

For more details of the survey results visit polfed.org