The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has found that in three police incidents the use of Tasers by specially trained officers (STOs) was both necessary and proportionate.

Five hundred STOs have been trained by Police Scotland in the use of Taser devices and were deployed from June 2018 onwards.

In light of the recent deployment of these officers, the PIRC investigated the initial incidents involving STOs and their use of Tasers.

The first incident on 18 June 2018 involved a 21-year-old man at a house in Jedburgh, who had earlier been reported as having a loaded crossbow in his possession and had been threatening to harm himself. When he was arrested he was found to have a knife. The crossbow was recovered in his bedroom, from where he fled from the police officers.

The second incident on 25 June in Aberdeen involved a 33-year-old man who was pressing a knife against his own throat and threatening to kill himself. The third case took place on 1 July in Carluke, Lanarkshire, involving a 35-year-old man who repeatedly swung a glass bottle at police officers.

The Commissioner found that in all of these incidents, the response of the officers involved was necessary, proportionate and justified in limiting the dangers that these men posed and effecting their arrests. The investigations focused on the police handling of each of the incidents, including the actions of officers who attended and the decision making process in relation to the use of the Tasers.

A spokesperson for the Commissioner said:

“The findings in these cases illustrate that the use of Taser devices by specially trained officers of Police Scotland was appropriate in providing protection to the public, the police officers and indeed a number of those Tasered.”

You can read each of the reports and their findings here.


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