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Northants chief backs calls for Specials to get Tasers

A Chief Constable has renewed calls for Specials to be issued with Tasers after an officer was attacked.

Chief Constable for Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley said Special Constables should be trained in how to use Tasers now that most of his full-time officers had access to them – ahead of his target of a force-wide roll-out within two years.

His comments followed a assault on an officer where only the intervention of a colleague with a Taser prevented more serious injuries.

CC Adderley revealed on social media: “Over the weekend a Northants officer was forced to the ground and strangled to the point that they nearly lost consciousness. Due to the size of the offender, strikes proved ineffective, PAVA was also ineffective. Thank goodness his colleague had Taser, which saved his life.

He added: “The argument of ‘necessity’ to issue Taser to every officer who wants one, ends right here. Today, I may well have been speaking to the next of kin of my officer, delivering devastating news. Officers deserve all the protection we can give them. I will do exactly that.”

The Chief has been a long-term advocate for Tasers and for all officers to be able to use them.

CC Adderley said the main stumbling block for further rollouts was the lack of representation for Specials, who currently cannot be members of the Police Federation. They would need to be to be covered for further investigations of incidents by the Independent Office for Police Conduct or legal action by offenders.

The Home Office has backed Specials being able to join and legislation is set to be included in the next Parliament but talks have reached an impasse over who pays for their membership.

CC Adderley said: “We have around 20 officers left to train. Next is the Special Constabulary (terms and conditions apply) but we need to offer protection for Specials through the Federation first, which is being worked on.”

Police Federation Chair John Apter welcomed his comments:  “It’s something we’ve been pushing for some time. It’s proven itself time and time again to be a life-saving piece of kit.”

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