A police boss in North Wales says that securing funding for an extra 167 Tasers will help protect frontline officers as well as the public.
The region’s police and crime commissioner, Arfon Jones, welcomed the additional £137,000 from a £10 million pot provided by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The cash will cover the cost of buying the new tasers.
Meanwhile, money for batteries, holsters and training has been included in the budget for the remainder of this year and next by the commissioner.
As well as having more Tasers available for officers, it will also mean more can be trained in how to use them
Mr Jones, a former police inspector, has campaigned for extra funding for several years.
He said: “I am delighted that through a bid from my office we will be able to bring the force up to a more appropriate level in terms of equipping our officers.
“This is something I have been calling for so this is very welcome news and will help ensure that we are better able to protect the frontline officers who protect us.
“A higher percentage of officers in North Wales carry Tasers than is the case in many forces, but I would it is right and proper that we will now see the majority of officers equipped with a Taser when they are out on the streets.
“This will help deter the growing number of attack on officers, women and men, who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.
“Everybody, whether they are a police officers or a member of the public, has the right to protect themselves from being assaulted.
“Police officers can only protect the public if they are properly equipped to protect themselves.
“I would also like to see the introduction of tougher sentences in the courts to send a clear message that these attacks on our front line officers will not be tolerated.”
The news was also welcomed by Chief Constable Carl Foulkes who said: “Police officers do a difficult job and it is often the case that just having a Taser officer at a scene can diffuse a situation which might otherwise have escalated into a dangerous or violent confrontation.
“These additional Tasers will mean that more officers are better equipped to protect both themselves and the public.
“They will be deployed over time by highly trained officers in various departments across the force for use in situations which are lifesaving or to prevent serious injury.”
Mark Jones, General Secretary of North Wales Police Federation said: “We welcome the announcement that funding for an additional 167 Taser’s from the Home Office. The Police Federation has been passionately campaigning for our members to have the best possible equipment and training as they are sent to deal with the most violent of situations.
“Taser is an extremely effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations that officers often face on the streets and is a less lethal option than more conventional firearms.
“Our commitment is to work with North Wales Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office to ensure that there will be a continual programme of wider rollout of Taser to our members.
“We appreciate that this takes time, resources and financial backing so we will ensure that the safety and wellbeing of our members is always number one priority.”