Tasers risky for vulnerable people, but overall police find them useful
Police officers are enthusiastic about carrying an electroshock weapon as part of their equipment, according to new research from the Police Academy. But the researchers warned that using the weapon on vulnerable people entails “great risks,” AD reports.
Police officers in Rotterdam, Zwolle, and Amsterdam started testing electroshock weapons as part of police equipment in 2017. The weapon will be introduced nationwide this year. Eventually, 17,000 cops will be armed with the weapon.
According to the researchers, when appropriately used, the taser could be a “valuable addition “ to weapons police officers already have at their disposal. But they do add caveats. “The taser remains a radical means of violence,” said researcher Otto Adang. “It must be used with restraint.”
The electroshock weapon paralyzes a person by means of an electric shot. It must, therefore, not be used on vulnerable people, as it would pose “great risks,” the researchers said.
Between February 2020 and January 2022, 115 Dutch police officers pulled their taser 332 times, according to the study. They actually fired the electroshock weapon 156 times. In the other cases, threatening with the weapon was enough, the cops said.