taserIncompetent police officers from the Sussex Police force have shown their lack of experience, training and common sense, by drawing a taser on a drunk and unruly patient at Conquest Hospital, in St Leonards on Friday, March 21, at 11.30pm.

SUSSEX POLICE OFFICERS OUT OF CONTROL.

Shocked by what was about to happen, staff at the Conquest Hospital stopped the ‘out of control’ Sussex Police officer from pulling the trigger and made the complaint to Sussex Police after witnessing the officer’s actions.

“HE IS CURRENTLY BEING PAID BUT IS NOT ON DUTY,” SUSSEX POLICE ADMIT.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The force’s professional standards department is investigating an allegation regarding an officer’s use of Taser after being called to deal with a drunk and unruly patient at Conquest Hospital on Friday, March 21, at 11.30pm.

The Taser was not discharged and the patient, a man aged 31 from Hastings, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.”

The 35-year-old male police constable, based in East Sussex, has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing and is the latest in a long line of Sussex Police officers to walk the corridor of shame.

WHEN GOOD PERFORMANCE = ACCEPTABLE & SATISFACTORY

Hot on the heels of two uniformed Sussex Police officers caught in an alleged lesbian sex threesome in the back of a police car, to the botched investigation of a road traffic collision, to drawing a taser weapon on an intoxicated patient in hospital; Sussex Police is facing sustained pressure for an external police force to come in and take control.

Read more: Sussex Police officers in threesome sex.

With their yearly performance ratings coming up for renewal, Police officers across the board and upping their game to achieve a ‘Good Performance’ rating from their superiors. Let slip by Simon Kind, a Sussex Police sergeant in his blog ‘A satisfactory day’s work’, he reveals that what was once viewed as ‘acceptable’ or ‘satisfactory,’ has now been up-graded to ‘Good Performance.’

As Simon Kind argues, “Why shouldn’t the middle rating, which should cover the majority of persons in an organisation, be an acknowledgement that their work is good, valued, and they’re earning their pay? Now the upper two ratings are really something to be sought after and valued.”

I argue that Sussex Police force should aim for ‘excellence’ to be their middle ground and make the lower two ratings of ‘acceptable’ and ‘satisfactory’ that they be distanced from and labeled with distain.

IMAGINE IF I WAS POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER?

taseredDuring the lead up to the November 2012 Police and Crime Commissioner elections, I was the only candidate to publicly declare my objection that tasers be increased in number.

“With 50,000 volts pumping out on 5 second pulses, tasers are dangerous weapons that mustn’t be used on the law-abiding citizen’s of Sussex,” I argued. As with all my good ideas, they fell on deaf ears.

After all, if their roll-out was not indicative of a rise in the threat of violence in Sussex, why do we need more of them?

TASER USE BY SUSSEX POLICE INCREASES FIVEFOLD.

As the statistics show:

  • Taser use by Sussex Police officers has increased by more than five times in the past 12 months.
    Used on 164 occasions in 2013 compared to just 30 times in 2012.
  • The huge increase follows the announcement last year that up to 160 extra officers will be allowed to carry tasers
    Sussex Police had the biggest increase in taser use of any force in the country over the past twelve months.
  • Tasers were drawn on 74 occasions in the past year while they were fired on 13 occasions compared to eight in 2012.

While Chief Inspector Jim Bartlett argues, “The rise in the number of times we have deployed tasers is not surprising given that we have increased the number of officers who are trained to use them and can carry them on duty,” he fails to address that inexperienced and badly trained officers are being handed lethal weapons with no common sense on when to use them.

We would all agree that there are certain times and places that a weapon needs to be discharged, be it a fire-arm or taser.

“The mere presence of a Taser has successfully defused many situations where officers have been called to people behaving violently, making threats or carrying weapons,” the Chief Inspector maintains, but for a trained Police Officer to enter a hospital and threaten to discharge a lethal weapon against a drunk and disorderly man, demonstrates Sussex Police aren’t up to the task of policing.

SUSSEX POLICE NEEDS ‘OUT-SIDE’ CONTROL NOW.

tasered at youKaty Bourne Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I remain supportive of the use of taser in instances where there is a real threat of violence to ensure the safety of officers and the general public.”

TASER ROLLOUT – ACCORDING TO SUSSEX POLICE.

Q: What are the health risks for someone who is tasered?
A: There are no specific health risks identified with being Tasered. Part of the training for officers includes after-care, when a Taser has been discharged.

Q: Why do you need to roll out Tasers to non-firearms officers?
A: Tasers are effective in preventing escalation of situations involving violence or potentially dangerous people. Tasers are an incapacitent and are considered to be a less lethal option than a baton, which could help reduce injuries to those subject to force
Currently only authorised firearms officers are authorised to carry Tasers, which means whenever a Taser trained officer is requested an armed response unit attends. By training other officers in the use of Tasers it will reduce the number of times armed response units are deployed and will allow the Force to deploy with trained officers more quickly to situations where they are needed to protect the public.

Experience shows that simply the presence of Taser acts as a deterrent to the escalation of violence. From National Taser Statistics using ACPO Taser Guidance 2008 section 5.2 to define the term use, about two thirds (68%) of all Taser deployments do not result in it being discharged, compliance comes from presence. Studies have also shown that the presence of Taser reduces the levels of force required by officers in violent situations avoiding, for example, the use of a baton or captor. In a significant number of cases simply the drawing and aiming of Taser is enough incentive for the person posing the threat to comply with officers.

Officers have a range of skills and tactics available to them and the most suitable option for the situation will always be chosen.

Q: What training do the officers receive?
A: All the officers who will be authorised to carry Taser undertake an intense 4 day training course. The course includes theory alongside practical exercises, examines their decision making processes in pressured situations and covers aftercare procedures.
Officers are also required to complete a 1 day annual refresher course and be current accredited first aiders.

Q: What selection process do the officers go through to get onto the course?
A: Officers will complete a written application. Evidence for suitability will be accessed by divisional training panels, with a final decision from a senior officer.

Q: When Taser authority is granted, how often is a Taser actually discharged?
A:Based upon Tactical Firearms Unit (TFU) statistics for Sussex – authority was granted 188 times and discharged 8 times from 1 February 2012 to 31 January 2013.

Q: What are the rules governing Taser?
A: Tasers are kept in locked boxes at police stations and only officers trained in their use are able to access them. The officer removing the Taser must sign it in and out from the safe. Strict procedures are in place to monitor their deployment and use. These include a ‘black box’ within the Taser to track when it is drawn or used. If an officer uses a Taser they must fill out a report immediately afterwards to document the circumstances it was used in. Deployment of Taser trained officers to a situation must be authorised by a senior officer, of at least Inspector rank.

Officers can self deploy, if they find themselves in immediate and/or unexpected danger. Officers who self deploy will still be expected to complete a Home Office report immediately afterwards to document the circumstances the Taser was used in.

Q: How do they work?
A: The Taser fires two small dart-like electrodes, which stay connected to the main unit by conductive wire. They are propelled by small compressed nitrogen charges. The air cartridge contains a pair of electrodes and propellant for a single shot and is replaced after each use. There are a number of cartridges designated by range, with the maximum at 6.4m. The electrodes are pointed to penetrate clothing and barbed to prevent removal once in place.

Tasers primarily 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. Once the electricity stops flowing the subject immediately regains control of his or her body. Most subjects after being tasered once will comply so as to avoid being tasered a second time.

Tasers can also be used without the barbs in ‘stun’ mode. The Taser is held against the target and is intended to cause pain without incapacitating the target.

Q: How powerful are they?
A: The Tasers used by Sussex Police discharge 50,000 volts. If discharged and a circuit is completed, 1200V are discharged into the subject which should result in NMI (neuro-muscular incapacitation) only for the period during which the charge is applied.

Q: How long are people incapacitated for?
A: The Taser discharges in 5 second cycles; this can be re-engaged but equally can be cut short by turning the safety function on. Recovery should be almost instant. Many people suffer a short period of ‘mental stunning’. This should last no more than a few seconds.

Q: Who has access to Tasers?
A: Tasers are kept in locked boxes at police stations and only officers trained in their use are able to access them. The officer removing the Taser must sign it in and out from the safe. Strict procedures are in place to monitor their deployment and use. These include a ‘black box’ within the Taser to track when it is drawn or used. From drawing the Taser from its holster all the way to discharging requires an officer to complete a report immediately afterwards to document the circumstances it was used in. Deployment of Taser trained officers to a situation must be authorised by a senior officer, of at least Inspector rank.

Q: What situations are Tasers used in?
A: The rationale for the deployment of Taser is no different to any other tactical option, through a decision making process. The rationale for the deployment of Taser is summed up as below:-

The use of Taser in the UK is intended to provide police officers, with a differentiated use of force option at incidents where they may have to protect the public, themselves, and/or the subject at incidents of “violence, or threats of violence, of such severity that they will need to use force

Q: How is their use monitored?
A: Strict procedures are in place to monitor their deployment and use. These include a ‘black box’ within the Taser to track when it is drawn or used. From drawing the Taser from its holster all the way to discharging requires an officer to complete a report immediately afterwards to document the circumstances it was used in. These forms are then collated and submitted to the Home Office. Deployment of Taser trained officers to a situation must still be authorised by a senior officer, of at least Inspector rank.

26 February 2013 Last updated at 21:22
SUSSEX POLICE TO INCREASE TASER-TRAINED OFFICERS.

The use of more Tasers is not indicative of a rise in the threat of violence in Sussex, the force said
Continue reading the main story

Specially trained non-firearms police officers in Sussex will be able to use Taser stun guns, the force has said.

From next Monday, 160 extra officers will be armed with the weapons. At present, only firearms officers are authorised to use them.

It will mean about 8% of officers will be trained in their use, compared to the national average of about 11.5%.

The force said they would be called to “violent or threatening situations” instead of armed response units.

Ch Supt Paul Morrison said experience had shown the presence of the 55,000-volt devices acted as a deterrent “to the escalation of violence”.

‘No rise in violence’

“Nearly 70% of incidents where there is a possibility of using Taser end without it being discharged,” he said.

“Studies have also showed that the presence of Taser reduces the levels of force required by officers in violent situations avoiding, for example, the use of a baton or captor.

“In a significant number of cases simply the drawing and aiming of Taser is enough incentive for the person posing the threat to comply with officers.”

He explained there would be no change in “day-to-day policing”, but in the event of a violent situation officers would be able to request Taser support by colleagues locally, rather than from firearms officers based at central locations.

“Authority to use Taser will still have to be granted by senior officers, as has always been the case, and it is not the first option,” Ch Supt Morrison continued.

“If their roll-out was not indicative of a rise in the threat of violence in Sussex, why do we need more of them?”

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