Tasers Drawn 19 Times Across The Borough

Met police statistics for Wandsworth in 2014

Metropolitan Police statistics for Taser use show that in the borough of Wandsworth the force have drawn their tasers 19 times in 2014, an increase of 1 on 2013 but an increase of 16 times in comparison to 2012.

When Taser, or any other force, is used on an individual, a police officer will always have to justify their actions as being necessary and proportionate under the Law. All uses of Taser are reported to the Home office in great detail, including those where young people are involved.

Year Drawn Aimed Red Dot Arced Fired Drive Stun Angled
Drive Stun

What do these terms mean?

When an officer considers there to be a imminent use or threat of violence they can consider one of the following uses of Taser:

Drawn: Removed from holster.
Aimed: Pointed at subject.
Red Dot: Pointed at subject with red dot laser sight active so that red dot appears on subject.This has the advantage of letting the officer know they are on target and also letting the suspect know that they have been targeted.
Arced: No cartridge attached. Taser switched on and trigger squeezed in order that electric current arcs between contacts on front of Taser. This is a ‘show of strength’ aimed at deterring a suspect. This is achieved when the officer squeezes the trigger without the cartridge attached and the electric current flows between the two contacts at the end of the Taser. An audible and visual display of electricity crackling across the two contacts can be seen and heard.
Fired: Cartridge attached. Taser switched on and trigger squeezed causing cartridge to fire.
Drive Stun: No cartridge attached. Front of Taser placed against subject and arced.
Angled drive stun: Taser is designed to safely incapacitate a person at distance, sometimes distance cannot be achieved due to the subject being too close to the police officer. On some of these occasions it will be appropriate for an officer to incapacitate the subject by carrying out an angled drive stun. This involves activating the loaded Taser close to the subject’s body and then placing the Taser against another part of their body to incapacitate them.

According to the Met website a taser works on two levels - Psychological and physiological

Psychological - Taser stands out, it is yellow and black. The laser sight allows the officer to accurately aim the Taser as well as giving a clear warning to the subject that they have been targeted. Publicity through the press and on social media has meant that most suspects are aware of the effects of Taser and tend to surrender without the need to discharge the weapon. In the vast majority of cases it was not necessary to discharge the Taser, its presence alone was enough to bring the situation to a swift conclusion without the need for force to be used.

Physiological - When fired Taser delivers a sequence of very short high voltage pulses that result in the loss of voluntary muscle control causing the subject to fall to the ground or freeze. In the X26 the voltage peaks at 50,000 volts and when it reaches the body it is substantially less. The volts are responsible for delivering the amps. Taser runs off 0.0021 amps at average performance.

To explain this in simple terms, volts deliver the amps to where they need to go. If you take the analogy of water flowing through a hose, the AMPS are the water and the volts are the hose.

Amps can vary in size, to put this into context no more than 13 amps are needed to power a kettle. 32 amps are usually found running around a typical house. Two to three amps are enough to cause a person some harm. Taser runs on considerably less at 0.0021 amps.

At the science museum they had a Van de graf generator which the public were invited to touch. The generator had in excess of 1 million volts going through it. When the glass ball was touched it caused the persons hair to stand on end. They were able to do this safely because there were no amps carried by the volts.

Meanwhile the latest monthly crime statistics for London have just been released by the Met. The crime rate in Wandsworth rates as 'average' for London. There were 1851 'notifiable offences' in April compared to 2023 in March. This compares to 3834 offences in Westminster during April where the crime is rated as 'high', and a figure of 966 in Harrow where crime is rated as the lowest in London. Click here for the Met Police's Crime Mapping data.

June 2, 2015