GIVEN the level of threat police officers now face on the streets, it's a no-brainer to equip more of them with tasers.

Nationally, assaults on police officers have risen by a third in four years.

You only need to look at how a taser - which was not deployed - successfully brought last week's Arndale Centre stabbings to a speedy conclusion.

Gone are the days when the vast majority of people respected the word of an officer, but all of us respects the prospect of 50,000 volts.

There's little doubt that a certain section of criminals brazenly exploits the fact that our police forces are unarmed.

You only have to visit countries such as Spain to see a totally different attitude towards the police.

In short, people know when to behave and why they should not push their luck.

Yet in this country, we have fostered a society that prefers to argue the toss with those charged with enforcing the law.

Anything that keeps officers safe, or indeed saves someone from themselves or protects other members of the public, should be welcomed.

No-one is suggesting all officers be armed with tasers, although many will wonder why not.

In Cumbria at least, it is a measure of last resort and an effective deterrent.