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ACT Police want more Tasers

By johnboy - 8 October 2010 104

The Australian Federal Police Association has sent out a circular calling for more Tasers while the rest of Australia is wondering if they’re such a good idea.

Dear XXXXX ,

As some members may be aware, during the recent federal election campaign the AFPA lobbied for the funding of Tasers (or similar devices) for general-duty officers in the ACT.

Currently, Tasers are only issued to the Special Response Service in the ACT and not at all within the broader AFP.

Yesterday, AFPA CEO Jim Torr renewed the call for the roll-out of Tasers in an interview with ABC Local Radio. In the interview, he reiterated the case for the general issue of Tasers and extended the ambit of our request to include AFP Officers in all States and Territories albeit with ACT Policing remaining the number one priority.

The AFPA has released a great deal of material over the last two years regarding the benefits of Tasers over traditional use of force options. Members are no doubt aware of these arguments by now and they do not need to be repeated here.

However, if you are interested in the latest arguments put forward by the Association, the ABC News article can be accessed at this link.

The link also provides access to Ross Solly’s full interview of Jim Torr as well as a further interview with the ACT Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, on the issue of Tasers and their potential roll-out in the ACT.

On the one hand you’d much rather be tased than shot with a 9mm Glock.

On the other hand non-lethal weapons tend to get used a lot more.

Over to you Rioters.

Should more ACT Police have Tasers?

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104 Responses to
ACT Police want more Tasers
Gerry-Built 1:30 pm 08 Oct 10

neanderthalsis said :

I think that better training in dealing with confrontational situations would be a more effective move.

Perhaps an education program based on what might happen to Joe Public if they don’t comply with laws/police instruction might be more appropriate? Edumacate the fuck-ups, not the Police trying to do their jobs…

p1 1:29 pm 08 Oct 10

astrojax said :

what’s wrong with the baton? i thought that the interim step for police (or policing) from restraining someone with bare hands or shooting them was a baton…

Don’t forget pepper spray…

astrojax said :

and that the long baton with a funky handle long ago replaced the short truncheon favoured by football hooligans back in the old dart in the 60s and 70s… where did this tool go? what sort of training do current policingers get on this weapon in their arsenal these days?

Extendable batons seem more common with most of the worlds cops these days. Not entirely certain what ACT cops carry, but I suspect they have something like this.

Jethro 1:27 pm 08 Oct 10

Gerry-Built said :

Bring ’em in for sure. They’ll only be used on people who refuse to follow instructions and directions to refrain from doing something illegal anyhow…

Thus summing up one the main arguments against taser use. They are NOT meant to be used to force compliance from someone not following instructions. They are suppossed to be used in a threatening situation in which a gun may otherwise need to be used.

Unfortunately, it seems that too many police have seen them as tools simply to force compliance.

shadow boxer 1:26 pm 08 Oct 10

I don’t have an issue if Tasers are used when police confront a clear and present danger to their safety, I do have an issue if they are used to enforce compliance.

These are very different issues

johnboy 1:19 pm 08 Oct 10

People die of all sorts of things all the time.

astrojax 1:16 pm 08 Oct 10

what’s wrong with the baton? i thought that the interim step for police (or policing) from restraining someone with bare hands or shooting them was a baton, and that the long baton with a funky handle long ago replaced the short truncheon favoured by football hooligans back in the old dart in the 60s and 70s… where did this tool go? what sort of training do current policingers get on this weapon in their arsenal these days?

that said, given the inherent risks of using a solid shocking volt on someone, the regulations (and so commensurate penalties for violating these) should be specific and public and appropriate to the tool. tasering someone is fraught with more risk of severley harming someone than simply hitting them, as is shooting, so there needs to be commensurate regulation and instruction on the implement’s use.

chewy14 1:09 pm 08 Oct 10

johnboy said :

only the criminals will have anything to fear?

as long as they don’t tase me bro.

neanderthalsis 1:03 pm 08 Oct 10

I read a report some time ago, released by Amnesty International that examined taser use in the US. Whilst I would normally give little credence to Amnesty, they did cite an example of increased police shootings (handgun, not taser) after tasers were introduced in one jurisdiction. The local police audit branch undertook a review and found that the introduction of tasers had made police less reluctant to use force.

http://educate-yourself.org/pnt/amnestyintnl2004TASERfullreport.shtml

While generally supportive of the introduction of tasers, I think that better training in dealing with confrontational situations would be a more effective move.

Me no fry 12:59 pm 08 Oct 10

Sure, you’ve got a much, much greater chance of dying if the police adjust your attitude by means of a 9mm Glock, but given that people have died after being tasered Tasers should probably not be called non-lethal.

There is evidence both here and overseas (principally the US) that Tasers are increasingly being used to force compliance. While I can completely understand the desire (on the part of police) to tase mouthy, recalcitrant folk who just won’t do what they’re told, dumb insolence should not be a tase-able offence. Police should only be allowed to use a Taser to make their job safer, not easier.

p1 12:56 pm 08 Oct 10

I’m all for them. But I would really like to see some seriously stiff regulations concerning when it is appropriate to use one, and a mandatory investigation into each use which is equal (if not more in depth) then that of discharging a fire arm.

I say this not because distrust our polices intentions when it comes to this sort of thing, but rather because history has shown (as JB said), that non-lethal options tend to get used more. Tasers should be used less then guns are now, and their use should replace guns in some situations where they previously should have been used.

johnboy 12:44 pm 08 Oct 10

only the criminals will have anything to fear?

Gerry-Built 12:30 pm 08 Oct 10

Bring ’em in for sure. They’ll only be used on people who refuse to follow instructions and directions to refrain from doing something illegal anyhow…

Diggety 12:27 pm 08 Oct 10

arescarti42 said :

So long as police are properly trained on which situations use of a taser is appropriate, and are aware of the potentially lethal nature of the device, then I don’t see any issues.

+1

I think policebehaviour is more of a problem than the taser itself. Though, we have it nowhere near as bad as the sepos.

Pitchka 12:23 pm 08 Oct 10

Given the rise in crime in the ACT, im all for it. Anything to keep the criminals at bay i say!!

arescarti42 11:47 am 08 Oct 10

So long as police are properly trained on which situations use of a taser is appropriate, and are aware of the potentially lethal nature of the device, then I don’t see any issues.

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