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Monday, November 24, 2008

Watchdog blocks Government's plans to issue 10,000 Taser stun guns to police

November 24, 2008
By Daily Mail Reporter

Jacqui Smith's plans to issue police with 10,000 new Taser stun guns backfired last night as it emerged that Scotland Yard will not be rolling them out because they could cause 'fear' and 'damage public confidence'.

The Metropolitan Police Authority, which oversees the Met Police, said it has 'no intention of immediately sanctioning any increase in the availability of Tasers'.
The watchdog's warning about allowing the 50,000-volt guns to be used by non-specialist officers came within hours of the Home Secretary's announcement.

It is a huge blow to the Government, which gave the go-ahead for £8million to be spent on supplying the weapons after ten forces used the gun in trials. A spokesman said: 'The MPA recognises the potential to cause fear and damage public confidence if the use of Tasers is extended to non-specialist trained police officers and is perceived by the public to be indiscriminate.

'Both the MPA and the Metropolitan Police Service will pause to take stock before deciding whether to take advantage of the extra funding.'

Human rights group Amnesty International said Tasers were linked to hundreds of deaths in the U.S. and Canada.

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