Steve White the head of the Police Federation recently went on record as stating that all front-line police officers should be offered tasers in response to the increased risk from terrorism and I’m assuming that he is talking in particular about the threat to attack and kill street coppers.
The risk is real and I don’t think anybody can doubt that. In fact, the risk to street patrol officers has been real long before the increased terrorism threat. There are a lot of violent people in the world and thankfully most of us avoid them, but the nature of policing is such that officers regularly come into contact with the violent members of society.
Knife crime is also on the increase and any person holding a knife is a potential killer. Within my service, I have disarmed or otherwise taken a knife away from a suspect several times and during that same service, I was aware of numerous colleagues including close colleagues being stabbed or cut by knives. When I think back on some of the incidents I got involved in I don’t look back in pride or think to myself “well done mate, good result” I think to myself “You stupid idiot, you were bloody lucky to get away with that unhurt.”
The problem was and still is that most coppers get involved and don’t hold back just because something is dangerous. If a call comes over the radio relating to a suspect armed with a knife officers respond and attend as quickly as possible. Most sensible people would be running away from a knifeman, but coppers are the ones running at danger. Why do they do it? They do it to protect the rest of us. Can you imagine if the call to an armed knifeman was not responded too if all the coppers stayed away?
People would die, that’s what.
So, if we accept that the only people going towards a knife-wielding suspect is going to be coppers don’t we owe it to them to ensure they have the right equipment.
A taser doesn’t kill. I know there is always going to be the exception and maybe somebody with a heart condition might die. But my answer to that is if you’ve got a dodgy heart then don’t go around waving a knife at people.
A truncheon gives an officer a small advantage in that it extends the length they can strike a person, but it still requires an officer to get in close to the knifeman. With a taser, an officer can keep their distance.
We owe it to all our emergency personnel to ensure they have the right equipment to do their job.
All front-line police in England and Wales should be offered Tasers in light of the increased terrorism threat, says.
said the devices would help protect against “dangerous people” who could be preparing to attack officers.