DORSET’S Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has taken part in taser training, after a number of constituents raised concerns about the use of the controversial weapon.
The former police officer said he wanted to learn more about the electroshock weapon, as it came into service as he retired from the force.
He explained: “The use of tasers is a controversial topic and something I wanted to find out more about as, on average in Dorset, a taser is drawn once a week and fired once a month.
“As an ex-police officer I have been trained in the use of other control techniques, such as pepper spray, batons, public order shields and handcuffs.
“However, taser arrived as I retired and I attended the training to become more aware of the rationale for deployment, how they are deployed and how they can support the way our streets are policed.”
Mr Underhill wanted to learn more about the weapon after speaking to people in his one-to one surgeries who had been shot with the device by police, or whose family members had. My role as police and crime commissioner for Dorset is to represent the public in policing and hold the force to account,” explained Mr Underhill.
“I have met several constituents in my one-to-one surgeries who have discussed the use of taser on themselves or their loved ones and it is hard to scrutinise and challenge the police if you don’t understand the process.”
Mr Underhill stressed that if officers need to use force to protect themselves and the wider community, it should be proportionate and justified.