There has been increasing concern and much controversy regarding the use of Taser guns by police due to the weapon’s potentially deadly effects.
A recent article in the St Helens Reporter shows that Taser guns have been fired 27 times in the last 3 years at people in the St Helens area alone. On 6 of these occasions, the guns were fired at youths between the ages of just 12 and 19. This information has been made available following a Freedom of Information Act request by the St Helens Reporter.
The findings include a 12 year old girl who had been shot by police with a Taser during 2011. This is despite the fact that Tasers should only be used as a last resort when police are unable to restrain a suspect, and also despite Home Office Guidelines that the age of the victim should be a consideration.
The potentially lethal effects of this police weapon are illustrated in the article via use of statistics from overseas which suggest that 500 people have died after being shocked by a Taser in America.
Police officers are subject to strict rules about when they are permitted to fire a Taser. If these rules are not adhered to, then the use of this weapon on an individual may amount to an unlawful assault and battery of that person.
By Stuart Crook, solicitor in the Actions Against Public Bodies Team
Stephensons has a dedicated Civil Liberties Unit who may be able to advise and assist you with making a damages claim against the police if you feel that you have been subjected to