This is how many Humberside Police officers are now trained to use Tasers

The number of Humberside Police officers trained in the use of Tasers has doubled in the past 18 months, the force has revealed.

There are now 262 officers who have completed the training, with the focus being on firing a Taser only as a last option.

Tasers were used 442 times by Humberside Police officers during 2018.

Tasers were used 442 times by Humberside Police officers during 2018.

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Force statistics show that in nearly 90 per cent of cases where a Taser was used during the response to an incident, it was not fired.

Inspector Gary Jackson who oversees Taser training for Humberside Police said they were used 442 time in 2018 but that did not mean they were always fired.

He said: “One misconception about the use of Taser is that our officers will fire it as a first option when dealing with a situation. That’s just not the case.

A new model - the Taser X2 - was introduced by the force around six months ago.

A new model - the Taser X2 - was introduced by the force around six months ago.

"My officers go through very rigorous training to learn to fire a Taser as a last option.

"In nearly 90 per cent of all cases when a Taser was used in incidents in our force area, it was not fired."

He said the force's first priority was to protect the public and ensure the safety of its officers.

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Force statistics show that in nearly 90 per cent of cases where a Taser was used during the response to an incident, it was not fired.

Force statistics show that in nearly 90 per cent of cases where a Taser was used during the response to an incident, it was not fired.

“We can, of course, be faced with a person who may be seen as a threat, who may be holding a weapon, or indeed a vulnerable person who is self-harming, may be emotionally distraught, or under the influence of drink or drugs," Insp Jackson said.

“Officers who carry a Taser have a multitude of options at their disposal before it is even fired. The equipment itself is a visual deterrent just by officers carrying it overtly. The bright yellow colour adds to this deterrent.

“Along with verbal commands the officers have options such as simply drawing the Taser from its holster, pointing it, arcing it (loud crackling sound), or ‘red dotting’.

“These techniques all prove extremely effective in calming a person down and diffusing and gaining control of a situation without the need to fire the Taser."

A new model - the Taser X2 - was introduced by the force around six months ago to replace the X26 model, with the full roll out due to be finished by the end of June.

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The X2 fires two probes at 50,000 volts rather than one and also has the capability to have two lasers when pointed.

They are displayed as two ‘red dots’ rather than one with the X26 Taser.

The two laser dots doubles the area where probes can be placed and makes the X2 more accurate if fired when compared to the single-pronged X26, the force said.

Insp Jackson said: "We have a special training centre in East Yorkshire where we put officers who want to be trained in the use of Taser through a strict 24 hour training programme over a period of three days.

"This is to see if they not only have the physical skills to use a Taser, but crucially the correct attitude and mindset. This training is refreshed regularly.

“There is a move towards more officers carrying Tasers across Humberside Police so we can continue to keep the communities we serve around the force area safe.”