Freedom of information

Police Scotland used tasers 139 times since 2013

Police Scotland car | CC | Steven Straiton

New figures from Police Scotland show that the force has deployed tasers 139 times over the last three and half years.

Figures obtained via a freedom of information request show that taser use has declined over the last three complete years for which data is available.

In the last year to 31 March 2016, the devices were deployed just 13 times. But in the period from 1 April 2016 to 17 August 2016, police have already deployed the controversial devices 11 times, indicating that taser use may now be on the rise.

There are seven “modes of deployment”, including drawn, aimed and fired. The last time a taser device was actually fired or used to “stun” someone was in the year to 31 March 2015.

Police Scotland taser use chart

The use of the devices remains contentious. Ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson died when Police officers in England used the devices. The two West Mercia police officers involved are now under investigation.

More recently, concerns have been raised over proposals that will see the British Transport Police deploy officers equipped with tasers on public transport in Scotland.

Police Scotland have refused to supply information on the number of tasers the force owns, but in June 2015 it was reported by the Daily Record that 273 officers are routinely equipped with the devices.

Police Scotland taser use

Police Scotland publishes its guidance on the use of tasers on the College of Policing Website.

During the last three and half years officials report that they received one complaint about police taser use. The complaint was not upheld.

The full Freedom of Information response is available in our source document archive.

Cover image: Police Scotland car | CC | Steven Straiton |

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