by: The Sunday Post
published: 27 October 2013
Tippa Naphtali speaks out to Sunday Post.
A furious row has broken out over the use of police stun guns on children. Official guidelines warn of potentially fatal consequences if youths are hit by the 50,000-volt Taser devices. But despite this, their use in confrontations with under-18s has rocketed by 1,000% over five years.
Figures show police used the weapons on just 29 occasions in 2007 but that shot up to 323 in 2011, an average of six times a week.
This included firing them outright and doing “drive stuns” in which the device is placed against a youth’s body and fired without causing incapacitation.
Justice campaigners said the soaring use of Tasers on children was a major concern. However police defended their actions.
Steve White, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Taser presents an extremely effective means of dealing with the many dangerous situations that officers face. Often, the sight of a Taser can quickly de-escalate a situation. Taser represents a less lethal option than conventional firearms and can be safer than other methods used by officers.”
But Tippa Naphtali, founder of the 4WardEver group, insisted Tasers must be reserved solely for the most dangerous criminals.