Taser use by police on the rise in Lancashire

An increase in violence and mental health issues have been blamed for Lancashire police’s increased use of Tasers.

A police officer takes aim with a Taser
A police officer takes aim with a Taser

New figures from the Office of National Statistics have revealed that the use of Tasers by local police has risen from 303 to 428 in the past two years.

This follows news that hundreds more officers will be trained to use the electrical weapons following a rise in attacks in the county.

The number of Lancashire-based officers able to use Tasers is expected to increase by 920 over the next five years.

But the new figures show that in most cases involving Tasers, the weapons were not fired.

In 2017/18, 202 out of 303 recorded uses of a taser did not result in the Taser being discharged.

In 2018/19, this figure changed to 300 out of 428.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: “It is clear that the operational environment is changing and that our frontline staff are more often dealing with people who are prepared to use violence against them and that we see increased unpredictability because of escalating mental health issues.

“We are also increasing the number of officers who are authorised to carry Tasers.

“We already regularly update our threat and risk assessment to ensure we have the right capability available and our view is that Taser issue will continue to increase to the point where the majority of frontline officers are carrying. We are committed to making sure our staff have the training, the resources and the kit to do their job while keeping the people of Lancashire safe.”