Jul 04 2012

Police Tasers Now On-the-Streets in Harrow

Police in Harrow have now begun patrols in the borough with Tasers on the kit belts.

Harrow is one of five boroughs – the others are Bromley, Barking and Dagenham, Enfield and Kingston – to have started the routine deployment, although other London boroughs won’t do so until after the Olympics. Previous to this, only firearms officers and the Territorial Support Group were armed with Tasers in the Met.

A Taser is a firearm-type weapon that shoots two small dart-like electrodes, which remain connected via conductive wire to the gun across a range of upto 35 feet. They function by creating neuromuscular incapacitation; the devices interrupt the ability of the brain to control the muscles in the body. This creates an immediate and unavoidable incapacitation that is not based on pain and cannot be overcome.

They’re not a non-lethal tool, either. In the US there are at least 245 deaths that can be attributed to Taser usage over a six year period. Clearly, they have a place in modern policing, but a number of groups are against the routine deployment – and thus, use – of them. We’ve run stories previously on Taser use in Harrow (here and here for example) where Police have used this weapons on, in one case, an 82-year old pensioner.


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