An independent investigation has found that police were justified in using a Taser device on a 20-year-old man who they feared may harm himself.

Officers went to a house in Bannockburn at around midnight on Saturday 30 March 2019, following reports that a man was in possession of a knife. Based on the information available they believed it was possible he was going to take his own life.

An investigation report, for the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC), found that a Specially Trained Officer (STO) initially ordered the man to drop the knife, but he refused to comply.

When officers challenged him for a second time he dropped the weapon but ran towards another part of the house. Concerned that he may have access to another weapon, and after again refusing to comply with his instructions, the STO discharged his Taser at the man to prevent him from harming himself and to ensure other people’s safety. The man was immediately incapacitated.

The PIRC investigation found that officers had become aware the man had a recent history of threatening to harm himself. The report concluded that the STO’s use of Taser was necessary, proportionate and justified, taking into account the man’s actions and the risk he posed to himself or others present. This allowed the man to be brought under control and arrested. He was later convicted.

The incident was referred by Police Scotland to the PIRC on 30 March 2019. From the initial material provided by Police Scotland, it was not clear that the action of the officer discharging the Taser was necessary and proportionate. As a result, the PIRC undertook an investigation into the circumstances.

You can read the report and its findings here.