Last week the Police Federation of England and Wales(PFEW) held a poll whereby a majority of officers who responded voted for police officers to have the option to carry a taser gun.
Whilst it is acknowledged that society is changing and that officers are exposed to increased risks, it must also be acknowledged that the evidence shows that historically Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities have had and continue to have disproportionate outcomes when it come to their interactions with police. This is particularly evident in the area of stop and search.
Before any increase in Taser can take place there must be a greater assessment of the impact Taser has had on minority communities. We must first understand how exactly it has been used until now before we can determine any future roll out.
There must be recognition also that there is still a deep mistrust of the police within the Black communities and that further rollout should not be supported without a clear evidence base and independent scrutiny.
The MetBPA are actively working with our internal stakeholders and our communities to better assess the impact that this maybe having and to shape the way forward.
Janet Hills MetBPA Chair stated, “The use of Taser should not go unchallenged. It’s important that it’s use is scrutinised and that any disproportionality is challenged. We will continue to work with the organisation to this end”.