0204 GMT February 18, 2020
The chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), Martin Hewitt, called for a meeting in September with the most senior officers in England, Wales and Scotland “to see if there is anything more we can do to tangibly improve” safety, the Guardian reported.
Two forces — Durham and Northamptonshire — are looking at allowing every frontline officer who wants a Taser to carry one on duty, amid concerns about the risks of modern policing.
Hewitt said each force would be asked to share lessons learned from recent assaults during the talks with the chief constables. The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, has been asked to give its input.
In a statement, Hewitt wrote, “The recent brutal attacks on officers and the tragic death of PC Andrew Harper remind us all that, even with the right training and equipment, police officers can be vulnerable to the most violent aggressors.”
Hewitt noted that levels of violence were an increasing concern and that attacks on officers had risen. This fear has driven some police chiefs to provide more officers with Tasers, he added.
The NPCC recently changed the rules so that student officers can also be trained to carry Tasers.
“Not every officer wishes to carry a Taser and that should remain their choice. In the same way that using a baton and incapacitating spray is not possible in every situation, so too a Taser is not the answer to all violent and threatening situations. Each circumstance will be different,” Hewitt wrote.