Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Police watchdog's Taser inquiry recommends more training for Merseyside officer
12:53pm Friday 27th September 2013 in News
AN investigation into the use of a high-voltage Taser stun gun by two Merseyside police officers responding to a disturbance at a hotel in Liverpool found their use of the weapon was justified - but recommended further training for one of the constables.
The investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission was launched after a 22-year-old man - who was subjected to two Taser discharges including one lasting 11 seconds - was taken to hospital having suffered cardiac arrest.
Police were called to a Premier Inn hotel in the Albert Dock at about 2.50am, on Sunday, September 30, 2012, following reports of a disturbance involving a group of men.
CCTV footage and independent witness accounts obtained during the investigation showed the officers were responding to a violent and volatile situation and that they had "a reasonable fear of further violence."
The decision to use force, including Taser, was deemed to be proportionate and appropriate.
However, the investigation found one officer was not aware of the length of time he was cycling the electric current through his stun gun and there was a delay in conducting appropriate welfare checks immediately following the Taser strike.
The man suffered a serious cardiac problem and required life-saving treatment from police and ambulance staff.
Medical staff who treated the man were consulted as part of the investigation.
They told the IPCC the cardiac arrest could have been caused by Taser, but the presence of cocaine and cannabis in his system, creating increased levels of adrenaline, may also have contributed.
The IPCC made a number of recommendations to the force and the two Constables involved.
These include one of the officers taking further training in the use of Taser.
A full investigation report will be published on the IPCC’s website at a later date.
IPCC Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said: "It is a difficult judgement to make in the heat of an incident, but it is important for public confidence that police officers are able to account for their decision to use force, including Taser, and that any force used against the public is at the minimum level required.
"In this case, officers responded to a violent situation involving a number of people. Our investigation found they had valid concerns for both their safety and that of the public and, as such, use of force including Taser was reasonable.
"However, our investigation did identify areas for improvement in how long the Taser was used for and how long it took for welfare checks to be made by officers when the subject of the Taser use was restrained and suffering a medical emergency.
"We have shared these with the police so that they can be considered in future training of officers.”
STUN GUN USE INCREASE:
POLICE in Merseyside used electronic stun guns more than 300 times over a two-year period, figures published earlier this month showed.
Between August 2009 and December 2011, Tasers were used 370 times.
The disabling devices were used on 51 occasions in 2009 compared to 195 in 2011, representing an increase of nearly 80%.
In a statement, Merseyside Police said at the time: “Officers are highly-trained and skilled to deal with any number of situations that they may face."
Comments are closed on this article.