Police used tasers 76 times between February and August

Police officer with a taser
Police officer with a taserPhoto: Politie

In the police units where the use of tasers is being tested, police officers made use of this weapon 76 times between February and August this year. In most of these incidents, the police officer did not actually have to shock anyone - threatening with the taser already had the desired effect, the police said in a statement.

At 76 incidents in which a taser was used, police officers used the weapon 30 percent less than in the same period last year. Frank Paauw, Amsterdam police chief and portfolio manager for this experiment, sees this decrease as a stabilization in the use of tasers. The weapon was fired slightly more often, but the shock mode - in which the weapon is pressed against the body to deliver an eclectic shock - was not used at all. In 62 percent of the incidents, the police officer only had to threaten a suspect with a taser to have the desired effect. 

Police officers involved in the taser-experiment indicate that they are happy with this extra tool, as it means they do not always have to use more severe force such as physical violence, a police dog or a firearm. 

"Adding this weapon to police equipment gives the police on the street an extra tool to use. To achieve maximum effect in difficult danger situations with minimal to no injury." Paauw said. "The monitor shows that police officers are increasingly able to use this means of violence as effectively and in the most measured way possible."

The police units in Zwolle, Amersfoort and Rotterdam have been getting tasers as part of their standard equipment since 2017. The experiment will be evaluated in November, after which it will be decided whether tasers will be permanently added to police equipment nationwide.