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Home Office approve latest model of taser for officer use


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The latest model of the Taser has been signed off for police use, the Home Office has confirmed. Training and guidance will be rolled out within weeks.


Date - 24th August 2020
By - Gary Mason and Chris Smith 

A new, more effective version of the Taser has been approved for police use. The Home Office said the Taser 7 is more accurate, faster and compact than previous models.

It will also reduce costs for forces by replacing disposable batteries with rechargeable ones.

The announcement came just four days after the Home Office began a competition to develop a new less lethal weapon for officers to use that would have an increased range to tasers and baton rounds. 

The Taser 7 has twin cartridges that allow the user quickly to deploy a second shot after a failed first shot.

There are two cartridge options, one for close-range engagements, the other for when the subject is further away.

It also has a new green laser sighting system for the top probe and a probe design that radically departs from that used by the X2 and other older devices. 

Probes fired from the Taser 7 have a higher kinetic energy and momentum the Home Office led tests have shown.

The electrical output of the Taser 7 together with the way in which it is delivered, imply that the new device may be more effective than the X2 at inducing incapacitation and may be more painful for the subject according to tests carried out by the Scientific Advisory Committee on the Medical Implications of Less-Lethal Weapons (SACMILL) on behalf of the Home Office. 

Early testing by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)  highlighted some concerns in relation to the Taser 7 compared to the Taser X2.

These related to the accuracy of the close quarter cartridge. This was found primarily in an exercise where the user was firing single handed at 3m.

There were also reported problems with a stiff trigger and safety mechanism.

Further testing was conducted at Hendon, using 12 competent Taser users from both the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and National Crime Agency (NCA).

These tests found that the T7 loaded with a close quarter cartridge is marginally more accurate than an X2 for a given probe spread.

But almost every participant commented on the stiffness of the safety button and trigger which the College of Policing said underlined the need for forces to give approved officers time to get used to handling the device. 

In its announcement, the Home Office said that once procured by forces, officers could start training with the new model within weeks.

Chief Constable Mike Cunningham, CEO of the College of Policing, said: “The College of Policing has worked with the government and NPCC on the evaluation and testing of the new Taser model and we will be issuing updated training and guidance to officers and instructors as part of the roll out.

“All officers carrying Taser, regardless of their rank or role, will continue to be trained to the high national standards set by the College.”

Chief Constables will decide how many officers in their forces can carry the new devices based on strategic assessments of threats and risks in their force areas. Forces will be required to complete an additional record every time a Taser 7 device is used, to monitor the effects and performance of the device.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Less Lethal Weapons, DAC Lucy d’Orsi said: “Procuring the Taser 7 is a matter for individual police chiefs, who deploy Taser within their force area in line with their strategic threat and risk assessment. The deployment of Taser will differ from force to force due to many factors.

“The accountability of Taser is important to Chief Constables, who have undertaken a commitment for every officer who patrols with Taser to be equipped with Body Worn Video. Independent research is also beginning to further assess the use of Taser, and the proportionality of its use.” 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the new weapons would improve the safety of police officers.

She said: “They are our protectors and I will do everything in my power to give them what they need to keep themselves and the public safe.”

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Looking forward to getting my hands on this.

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