Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins Has today announced the force will double the number of officers trained in the use of tasers to 1,100.
The decision has been made to provide increased protection to the people of Greater Manchester and police officers responding to serious incidents including terrorist related attacks.
Tasers which fire 50,000 volts of electricity at a person is designed to knock the fight out of anyone it is aimed at, and the majority of people fall to the floor within seconds of it being deployed, this then gives the officer the time to control the situation.
Each officer selected to undergo training will go through a rigorous assessment process, in line with national guidelines, to ensure they are suitable to carry a taser.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “The threat level we are facing is significant as we have seen from recent atrocities in our city and in the capital, we have seen attacks targeting innocent people in crowded places using knifes, causing death and serious injury.
“I believe it is necessary to increase the number of specially trained officers authorised to carry tasers, this is necessary in order to better protect the people of Greater Manchester and the officers of Greater Manchester Police.
“Keeping our communities safe is our number one priority and this uplift will allow us to better equip officers to respond to the increasing threat of terrorism and serious crime.
“It is often the case that just having a taser officer present can diffuse a threatening situation without them actually having to use it or get involved in physical confrontation.
“This was not a decision taken lightly and we have consulted with and worked very closely with Greater Manchester Police Federation and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.
“We have received unilateral support from both for the decision to better protect the public and officers, the Deputy Mayor has authorised capital expenditure of £1.03m to allow me to take this decision.”