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Northamptonshire completes roll-out of taser to frontline officers

All Northamptonshire’s frontline officers who opt to carry a Taser and have completed the training have been issued with one.

In August 2019, Chief Constable Nick Adderley announced plans for his force to be the first in the UK to train all front line officers to carry a Taser.

A full training programme was designed by the Specialist Operations Department with the aim to ensure all officers were trained by March 2021, a target which has been met.

Northamptonshire Police has around 360 front line officers. The total number of Taser trained officers in the force is 328.

The decision came after a significant rise in assaults against officers in Northamptonshire and an upward trend nationally.

In July 2020 the force surveyed 123 Taser trained officers and found 87 per cent said they now feel more confident as a consequence of carrying Taser.

In August 2020 the Home Secretary Priti Patel backed the increase of Specialist Taser trained Officers and £10m of ring fenced funding was allocated for forces. This grant allowed Northamptonshire to access £130k in funds to date, which has funded devices for the Taser uplift programme.

A progress report on the force’s Taser Lift Programme shows in the past year Taser has been used 687 times and been fired on 41 occasions.

The Police Crime and Fire Commissioner, Stephen Mold, has also made a commitment to further invest in Tasers going forward.

The force plans to issue a Taser to student officers with more than 12 months of service and to special constables.

CC Adderley said: "Northamptonshire Police’s special constabulary contribute significantly to front line resources, therefore exposed to the same risks. My ambition for 2021 is to widen the capability for qualifying special constables to be afforded the same opportunities in Taser."  

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