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Elgin to become hub for police officers using tasers

By Jonathan Clark

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POLICE officers based in Elgin are set to be trained to use tasers.

It is understood that Elgin is set to become one of 41 new "hubs" across Scotland for police officers specialising in taser use.

Currently, 69 hubs exist – with Police Scotland looking to expand that number to 110 by 2023-24.

The move comes as Police Scotland aim to quadruple the number of trained officers across Scotland – from 500 to 2000 – due to an increase in violence against those in the force.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “Police Scotland has confirmed plans to increase the number of taser-trained officers over the next three years following a period of engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.

“Our engagement with various groups has helped to inform our planning and we have welcomed offers of assistance to enhance our training programme further.

“Increasing the number of taser-trained officers is the right thing to do as we look to better protect the public as well as our officers and staff.

"Tasers have protected the public and decrease the risk of injury when used.

"They have also prevented or limited self-harming and on some occasions have prevented deaths. Keeping people safe remains our core priority."

Currently, there are no taser-trained officers in Moray.

However, across Scotland since 2018, tasers have been brought out 945 times and fired 115 times.

Almost 90 per cent of the time there is no requirement for a taser to be fired, with the mere threat de-escalating the situation.

Statistics also show that almost half (44 per cent) of shots were fired to prevent a person self-harming.

Officers trained in taser use will specifically learn about disabilities, mental and physical, and when and how to use the taser to diffuse a situation.

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