It appears that a man has died after being tasered in Cumbria. That’s the second death in the UK since the introduction of tasers in 2003. The previous death linked to tasers was in 2006 however the Home Office post mortem put the death down to natural causes. Another incident is bound to bring the issue back into the public consciousness.
The use of tasers in the UK was initially restricted to firearms officers but has since been rolled out across the wider force. Human rights groups have called on the police to use tasers in limited circumstances where there is an imminent risk to life.
The balancing of the risks involved in the deployment of the taser is crucial and as always, the balancing act will usually take place under difficult and time critical circumstances. At the moment, the risk of serious injury from tasers is officially categorised as low but the statistics may force a review of that labelling. It will be interesting to see what action the police take following the incident and whether the deceased’s family will pursue legal action.
On August 17, 2011