Home Office stats on Taser and Firearms usage
28 Apr 2016 00:00 AM[View Full Size]
Comment in relation to the Home Office's reports on ‘Police use of Taser Statistics for England and Wales’ and 'Police use of Firearms Statistics for England and Wales'
Assistant Chief Constable, Darren Best, said: "Today's official figures confirm that the use of firearms and tasers by Northumbria Police remains one of the lowest among police forces nationally, making it a safe place to live, work and visit. We continue to have low levels of gun-related crime and are fully committed to protecting the public and utilising taser when appropriate and necessary.
"The majority of incidents that involve firearms, real or imitation, are resolved without the use of force. Where force is needed we have highly trained specialist staff who can respond quickly and effectively when needed. We also invest a lot of time in training officers to ensure their use is proportionate and necessary and we continually review our policies and procedures in line with national guidance and best practice.
"Protecting the public is our absolute priority and I would encourage people to report anyone they know or suspect to have access to illegal firearms so that we can take robust action and keep our streets safe."
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said:"Despite Northumbria Police covering one of the largest force areas in the country, we are fortunate that we don't share the same gun crime culture as other areas.
"Although Northumbria saw a very small increase in the number of operations where firearms were authorised and where armed response vehicles were deployed during 2013/14 - our area is fortunate to have the second lowest figure in the whole of England and Wales - a figure currently falling.
"In 2014, the Force had one of the lowest proportions of fired tasers per 100,000 population and during 2015 we saw the figure fall by 22 per cent. The public can also gain confidence in the knowledge that the HMIC's recent PEEL report, praised Northumbria Police for its 'effective system for ensuring that tasers are used fairly and appropriately and that taser-equipped officers have a good understanding of the National Decision Model'.
"In the majority of cases our officers use other tools and tactics to manage threat and risk, and ensure the safety of everyone. I will continue to closely monitor every incident where tasers and firearms are used by our officers ensuring this is only in exceptional circumstances and in-line with national guidelines."