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Boris Johnson says crime cut is ‘crucial’ as Priti Patel allows special constables to carry Tasers

Boris Johnson says crime cut is 'crucial' as Priti Patel allows special constables to carry Tasers 2

Boris Johnson says it is ‘crucial’ for Tories to cut crime as Home Secretary Priti Patel plans to allow part-time special constables to be armed with Taser stun guns for the first time

  • Home Secretary will speak to the Police Federation conference in Manchester 
  • Patel is set to give chief constables the power to decide if volunteers can tase 
  • The move is designed to ensure part-time officers aren’t at a disadvantage
  • She will say: ‘Human rights are not just for criminals but the law-abiding too’ 
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Boris Johnson vowed to get tough on violent crime today – as the Home Secretary unveils plans to allow part-time police officers to carry Tasers for the first time. 

The Prime Minister vowed to ’round up’ drugs gangs and cut violent crime as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street. 

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It came ahead of a speech this afternoon by Priti Patel in which she will confirm that special constables can be armed with stun guns to allow them to deal with violent situations.

Mr Johnson said that bringing down offending was a ‘crucial duty of our Government’, adding that it was ‘integral’ to the economic mission to level up Britain.

‘It is because it is only when you have safe streets, when you have safe communities, that you get the confidence of business to invest and drive jobs and growth,’ he said.

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‘That is absolutely critical now that we deal with the aftershocks of Covid and we help people with their current costs and take the economy through a difficult patch, and that is why cutting crime is integral to our economic mission.’

The Prime Minister vowed to 'round up' drugs gangs and cut violent crime as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister vowed to ’round up’ drugs gangs and cut violent crime as he chaired a Cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

It came ahead of a speech this afternoon by Priti Patel in which she will confirm that special constables can be armed with stun guns to allow them to deal with violent situations.

It came ahead of a speech this afternoon by Priti Patel in which she will confirm that special constables can be armed with stun guns to allow them to deal with violent situations.

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Boris Johnson says crime cut is 'crucial' as Priti Patel allows special constables to carry Tasers 3

Chief constables will be left to decide whether specials in their force will be authorised to carry the weapons – after they have completed the same training as full-time police constables and served for a minimum period. 

At the Police Federation annual conference, Priti Patel will say the Taser move is designed to ensure the volunteer part-time officers are no longer at a disadvantage when they face violent criminals or terrorists on the street.

Chief constables will be left to decide whether specials in their force will be authorised to carry the weapons – after they have completed the same training as full-time police constables and served for a minimum period.

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The Taser, first used by forces in 2003, fires probes that deliver a high-voltage electric pulse, causing incapacitating muscle spasms.

Miss Patel is expected to tell the conference in Manchester: ‘Human rights are not just for criminals, but the law-abiding majority. 

‘And that means standing squarely with the police.’

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There are 8,900 special constables in England and Wales, who are fully trained and undertake the same duties as regular police officers on a voluntary basis. 

Miss Patel will also say that in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving Metropolitan Police officer last year, forces must work hard ‘to create a better culture and higher standards’.

But Amnesty International UK’s policing expert warned that arming volunteer officers is ‘dangerous’ and will inevitably lead to ‘more instances of misuse, serious harm and death from Tasers’. 

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Oliver Feeley-Sprague, a member of the independent advisory group to the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on Tasers, said: ‘It’s our understanding that specials will be subject to a rigours assessment prior to being selected to undergo Taser training, but arming volunteers who receive less training overall and do less hours on the job is a worrying erosion of safeguards over Taser misuse.

‘Tasers are potentially lethal weapons, linked to hundreds of deaths in the USA and a growing number in Britain, and we’ve always said that UK police forces needed to restrict their use to highly-trained specialist officers, trained on a par with officers carrying firearms.

‘We also have specific concerns about Tasers being used against vulnerable groups such as those with mental illness, children and their massive overuse on black people.’

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