British Transport Police first UK force to arm volunteers with tasers
The British Transport Police has become the first police force in the UK to arm its volunteer police personnel with tasers.
From today, 22 British Transport Police volunteer officers will be carrying a taser while on duty after they received a three-day course on how to use the weapon.
The move was announced last week by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
According to Special Chief Officer Ben Clifford, allowing volunteer officers to carry the device is a “positive step” as volunteers face the same dangers regular officers do.
“We regularly deal with incidents a considerable distance from back-up in remote locations, and taser has a critical place in protecting the public and officers as a less lethal device,” he said.
The announcement was heavily criticised by human rights group Amnesty International UK, who called the decision “dangerous” as it will cause “more instances of misuse, serious harm and death from tasers”.