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Cumbria police taser use figures revealed

TASERS have been deployed by police in Cumbria more than 100 times in the past 18 months.

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DEPLOYMENT: Cumbria police have revealed how many times officers have deployed Tasers in the past 18 months Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

The figures, revealed to the Evening Mail following a Freedom of Information request, showed that Tasers were deployed 139 times from March last year to August this year.

Thirty of these instances involved firing the Tasers.

The deployment figures include every use of the Taser from a “red dot” warning with a laser light to the devices being fired.

The Evening Mail asked how many times Tasers had been deployed over the past 18 months and where and when they were deployed.

Cumbria police said it could not provide full details of each incident.

Police said the details required were in officers’ notebooks and use of force forms and would take too long to compile.

However, after speaking to the Evening Mail, a Freedom of Information officer confirmed the Tasers had been fired 30 times.

It is believed up to four of the times they were fired was in the incident involving Dale Burns on the night he died, in August last year.

Mr Burns, 27, died after he was Tasered following a disturbance at his flat in Hartington Street, Barrow.

Last week a blind man was Tasered by Lancashire police after they mistook his white cane for a Samurai sword.

It has been reported Lancashire police fired Tasers 73 times last year.

Tasers were introduced by Cumbria police in 2005 and up to March 2010 were used 114 times.

They are most often used when officers are dealing with violent or unruly people who themselves are unarmed but were also deployed in the stand-off with killer Raoul Moat in Northumberland in 2010, seconds before he shot himself in the head.

A spokesperson for Cumbria police said: “Currently, we have around 240 officers who can carry a Taser whenever on-duty, therefore it is more readily available for officers to use in situations where the safety of the public or police officers is at risk.

“It is used within the legal framework for use of force and acts as a major deterrent for a number of people.

“The threat of the Taser is enough to often calm violent situations.”

Have your say

So many Thugs in this town im surprised the figures are not higher. If these people obeyed the law and respected the police officers instead of resorting to violence then they wouldn't be getting tasered would they.

Posted by Jamie on 24 October 2012 at 12:47

Well done the Evening Mail. This is what we need reporters doing, monitoring public authorities. This taser usage begins to suggest an incompetent police force out of control. We need the Cumbria police to volunteer these figures every year. The decent officers must get a grip on their thuggish colleagues.

Posted by Andrew Jennings on 23 October 2012 at 18:29

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