Hundreds of British police officers are set to be armed with taser stun guns. Under the current system, only firearms officers dealing with armed suspects are allowed to carry them. They are used as a “non lethal” option of dealing with dangerous criminals where in the past the only alternative would be to shoot them. However the Home Office announced this week that it was planning to extend their use to all police officers, who will be able to use them when they face threats or violence. The 50,000 volt devices work by temporarily disabling a suspect.
However the plans for more wide taser gun useage have angered human rights groups who say tasers have been linked to many deaths in the U.S. and Canada. The Home Office stated that no deaths have been linked to their use in Britain. Independent medical research is currently being carried out to see whether the guns do cause any serious injury. One of Britain’s top police officers volunteered to be shot by a Taser in a bid to convince the public they are safe. A special police video shows him collapsing to the floor in excruciating pain after being shot. He says, “It hurt like hell!”, after being helped to his feet by two other officers. The Home Office are hoping to start trials of the Taser guns in September.