PSNI officers should have access to Tasers - Nesbitt

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PSNI officers should have access to Tasers - Nesbitt

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Policing Board representative, Mike Nesbitt MLA, has distanced himself from a recommendation of the Board’s Human Rights Advisor that PSNI officers should not be trained to use and be allowed to carry tasers.    

Mike Nesbitt MLA said:

“As a society we ask police officers to take risks on a daily basis that many of us would never do. We owe it to those officers to ensure they are equipped with the means to protect themselves and the general public should they encounter situations where they face an individual who would seek to harm officers or the general public.  

The Ulster Unionist Party supports the right of PSNI officers to carry tasers as a less-lethal alternative to firearms.

“The Policing Board’s Human Rights Advisor has made a recommendation that officers should not be issued with Tasers and quite frankly I cannot get my head around that.

“If we are going to train all our officers in the use of lethal firearms, then it seems logical to me that we should also train them in the use of less-lethal alternatives such as tasers.

“This would not only help protect officers, but it would also help protect the public if less-lethal force was available.

“The Chief Constable has operational responsibility and he can authorise the training of officers and routine carrying of tasers regardless of the recommendation of the Policing Board’s Human Rights Advisor. In this instance I fully expect him to do so.”