Taser use reducing

THE latest Taser figures from the NSW Police Force show the use of Tasers by NSW police officers is reducing.

In 2011, there were 881 reports of Taser use by the NSW police force, a 23% reduction on the 1151 reports of Taser deployments in 2010.

The reduction in Taser use comes despite an increase in the number of Tasers currently used by the NSW police force - 1272 as of this date (Tuesday, March 20, 2012).

Assistant Commissioner Alan Clarke believes Tasers play an important role in protecting police officers and members of the community.

"Tasers have proven to be an effective deterrent against criminals looking to commit violence in the presence of police, whether that violence is directed at a police officer or a member of the public," he said.

"In fact, in 70% of cases where a Taser has been drawn, police have not had to discharge the device. The mere presence of the Taser has been sufficient in resolving the situation."

Assistant Commissioner Clarke added that the NSW police force had clear procedures in place to ensure Taser use was not abused.

"Every time a Taser is used, the incident is reviewed by an assistant commissioner to ensure the deployment of the Taser was appropriate and in accordance with the guidelines we have in place - widely regarded as the best in the country.

"Those guidelines deem that a Taser can be used to: protect human life; protect an officer or members of the public from a situation where a violent confrontation is occurring or imminent; protect officers or members of the public in danger of being overpowered or injured, and; provide protection from animals."

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