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Stun Guns: Children

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times a Taser gun has been used (a) on a child and (b) within 10 metres of a child in each police authority area in England in the last 12 months. (290762)

[holding answer 9 September 2009]: The number of times a Taser has been used on a person under 18 years of age in England and Wales in the 12 months from 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 is shown in the table. It was used on 100 occasions and fired 18 times. Information is not collected on the number of times Taser is deployed within 10 metres of a child.

The total number of subjects of all ages exposed to the use of Taser over this period totals 2,083 individuals.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 186W, for similar figures for 2007 and 2008. In 2007, 36 subjects exposed to the use of Taser were reported as aged under 18, with 714 subjects aged 18 years and over. For the period January to August 2008 subjects under the age of 18 totalled 75, compared to 1,349 subjects 18 years and over.

The proportion for each time period is in the ratio of 5 per cent. subjects less than 18 years of age to 95 per cent. of subjects 18 years and over.

Taser use in England and Wales, 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009

Usage details

Force

<18 years (total)

Discharges

Drive-stuns

Arced

Red Dot

Avon and Somerset Constabulary

2

1

1

Bedfordshire Police

3

1

1

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

1

1

Cheshire Constabulary

City of London Police

Cleveland Police

3

1

2

Cumbria Constabulary

3

1

2

Derbyshire Constabulary

1

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary

2

Dorset Police

Durham Constabulary

1

Dyfed-Powys Police

Essex Police

3

1

1

Gloucestershire Constabulary

Greater Manchester Police

Gwent Police

3

1

Hampshire Constabulary

1

1

Hertfordshire Constabulary

2

1

Humberside Police

2

Kent Police

Lancashire Constabulary

2

1

Leicestershire Constabulary

Lincolnshire Police

1

Merseyside Police

Metropolitan Police Service

22

7

1

9

Norfolk Constabulary

2

1

North Wales Police

7

1

1

3

North Yorkshire Police

2

Northamptonshire Police

Northumbria Police

21

2

13

Nottinghamshire Police

1

South Wales Police

South Yorkshire Police

1

Staffordshire Police

4

4

Suffolk Constabulary

Surrey Police

Sussex Police

1

Thames Valley Police

1

Warwickshire Police

West Mercia Constabulary

1

1

West Midlands Police

West Yorkshire Police

6

2

1

3

Wiltshire Constabulary

1

1

Totals

100

18

3

6

54

Usage details

Force

Aimed

Drawn

18+ years

Age not stated

Avon and Somerset Constabulary

92

1

Bedfordshire Police

1

34

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

62

1

Cheshire Constabulary

16

1

City of London Police

1

Cleveland Police

30

Cumbria Constabulary

24

1

Derbyshire Constabulary

1

26

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary

1

71

Dorset Police

20

1

Durham Constabulary

32

Dyfed-Powys Police

15

1

Essex Police

40

1

Gloucestershire Constabulary

11

Greater Manchester Police

17

1

Gwent Police

1

46

1

Hampshire Constabulary

11

Hertfordshire Constabulary

48

Humberside Police

1

95

1

Kent Police

19

1

Lancashire Constabulary

55

1

Leicestershire Constabulary

53

Lincolnshire Police

5

Merseyside Police

20

Metropolitan Police Service

2

3

230

8

Norfolk Constabulary

33

2

North Wales Police

1

1

45

2

North Yorkshire Police

1

36

Northamptonshire Police

25

1

Northumbria Police

1

5

308

6

Nottinghamshire Police

23

South Wales Police

32

2

South Yorkshire Police

13

Staffordshire Police

34

Suffolk Constabulary

21

1

Surrey Police

22

Sussex Police

29

Thames Valley Police

13

Warwickshire Police

1

1

West Mercia Constabulary

48

West Midlands Police

9

West Yorkshire Police

152

4

Wiltshire Constabulary

27

Totals

6

13

1,944

39

Note:

‘Use’ as defined by ACPO: Taser Operational Guidance December 2008 policy section 5.2: The term ‘use of the Taser’ will include any of the following actions carried out in an operational setting:

Drawing of a Taser in circumstances where any person perceives the action as a use of force.

Sparking of the Taser commonly known as “arcing”.

Aiming of the Taser or placing the laser sight red dot onto a subject.

Firing of a Taser so that the barbs are discharged at a subject.

Application and Discharge of a Taser in “drive stun mode” to a subject.