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Three South Wales specials now carrying Taser in force first

Three of the force's 114 volunteer officers will now carry the device after former Home Secretary Priti Patel authorised the move in May 2022.

Three South Wales Police specials are now carrying Taser, including a Special Inspector trainer whose status prevented him from being able to carry the device until a legislative change made last year.

Volunteer officers were not entitled to carry Taser until former Home Secretary Priti Patel reversed this position in May 2022.

South Wales Police has seized upon this change, with Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan arguing the importance of specials being given "access to the same training, tools and support" as other officers.

Constables Jason Francis and Ben Johns can now carry the device alongside SI Jonathan Edwards, who as a trainer has been using the device for five years in order to deliver personal safety training to new recruits. 

SI Edwards, who has been a special for 26 years, said: "As volunteer officers, we deploy alongside ‘regular’ officers and do the same role they do.

"We’re exposed to the same risks, the same hostility and the same levels of violence, so it’s really pleasing to see the law finally changing to recognise that fact."

CC Vaughan added: "We currently have 114 Special officers, all of whom will have the option to undergo training to carry Taser if they meet the eligibility criteria.

“The reality is that a Taser is discharged very infrequently; often its presence alone is enough to diffuse a situation and ensure the safety of everyone concerned."

Specials - alongside other officers - must have a minimum of two years’ service and have achieved independent patrol status before being eligible to carry the device.

By making the move, South Wales Police joins the BTP, Kent and Leicestershire Police who have already started equipping their specials with Taser.

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