Tasers ‘more humane’ than batons, SPF chief says
The Scottish Police Federation General Secretary said the alternative to tasers is to ‘bludgeon someone into submission using a metal pole’.
Tasers are more humane than “bludgeoning someone into submission” using a baton, the Scottish Police Federation head has said.
Calum Steele, general secretary of the federation, which represents rank and file police officers, said “battering” someone with metal rod uses more force than a Taser.
Speaking at a fringe organised by the federation at the SNP conference in Glasgow, he said: “The alternative to using a Taser is to bludgeon someone into submission using a metal pole.
“When it comes to the continuum of the escalation of force that police officers to the Taser falls below the use of a baton.”
He said in order of force to deal with situations police officers use their voice, hands and feet to restrain, incapacity spray, Taser and then their baton.
If you give someone two-and-a-half feet of gun-metal to batter someone until they stop fighting with you, that's much more inhumane than any officers carrying Tasers Calum Steele, Scottish Police Federation General Secretary
“Which is more humane, is it more humane to put a dot on someone and say behave or you’re going to be sore?” he said.
“Or is more humane to beat them until they stop fighting. That’s where the discussion about taser is.”
He added: “If you give someone two-and-a-half feet of gun-metal to batter someone until they stop fighting with you, that’s much more inhumane than any officers carrying Tasers.”
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said it was interesting how often the red dot of the Taser appeared to be enough to get someone to stop without deploying the full force of device.
He said it would “not be far away from the parliamentary conversation” on the issue of Taser use.
Police Scotland expanded the number of officers equipped by Tasers earlier this year in response to a rise in assaults on police.
Around 500 trained officers were given Tasers at the start of June while previously, only armed response vehicle officers had been trained to use the devices.