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More cops to get stun guns as violence escalates
6:00pm Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
PATROL cops in Tendring are set to be armed with Taser stun guns for the first time.
For years Essex Police has only allowed specially trained firearms officers in its specialist armed response team to carry the weapons.
But from January, the stun guns, which can produce a 50,000-volt electric shock, will be available to other officers as well.
It follows a rise in violent crime involving weapons and particularly knives.
Some 60 response and patrol officers across the county will soon be armed with more than just a baton and CS spray.
Chief Insp Nick Morris, head of the firearms team, said: “It brings Essex in line with other forces. We are now the exception, only having firearm officers to carry them."
He added: “We will always use the minimum of force to achieve the objective and we will remain a predominantly unarmed service but this is a positive step to take."
Mr Morris said having more Tasers out would give greater protection to frontline officers.
The force has 200 firearms officers and plans to train another 60 by January.
Between January and June this year there were 640 incidents where armed officers were asked to respond with stun guns in Essex.
Tasers were only drawn 39 times and fired in a third of those incidents.
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