Use of tasers by police officers in Northamptonshire among the lowest in England

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Police officers in Northamptonshire used their tasers 83 times last year - one of the lowest figures of any force in England - latest figures show.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published a report prompted by the increasing number of complaints relating to the use of tasers nationally.

Analysis of the use of tasers by all police forces in England and Wales shows seven per cent of Northamptonshire officers used tasers in 2013 and there were a total of 83 uses of taser during the year.

The figures mean the county’s police force is in the bottom five in England for the use of tasers. The only other police forces with a lower figure are City of London (13), South Yorkshire (73), Hertfordshire (80) and Cumbria (81).

The highest use of tasers was in the two biggest police forces in the country; the Metropolitan Police, where tasers were used 2,110 times and West Midlands police where tasers were used 995 times.

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: “The IPCC has always accepted that there are legitimate reasons for using Taser in policing and that it can be a valuable tool in assisting police officers to manage difficult and challenging situations.

“However, in light of the significant increase in Taser use, it is important to ensure that the device is being used appropriately and not as a default choice where other tactical options, including communication, could be effective.

“For that reason, it is very important that each individual use can be justified and that forces closely analyse the extent and type of use.”