Home Office delays

imagesUT6IMNZF (2)The process of approving new equipment as suitable for use by Police Officers needs to be rigorous if the equipment is something that could come into contact with the rest of society. However there is a difference between rigour and prevarication, and when excessive delay has the potential to put lives at risk the speed of the response needs to be challenged. When the Mayor of London purchased two second hand water cannon from Germany it took 2 years for a decision to be taken to prevent them being used. It remains to be explained why Boris spent public money on the equipment when he did not have permission to use it, particularly bearing in mind the two years it eventually took for him to get a decision from Theresa May. However the use of two water cannon on the streets of one large city does not have the same impact as the use of equipment in use in all 43 Police Forces in England and Wales. According to this article, the current model of Taser in use in the UK is no longer being manufactured or available for sale. The model X26e is over 10 years old and although it is still effective and safe, many of the commercial warranties involved in its design and production have now expired. The last taser was sold at the end of 2014 and it is anticipated that the new model which will be adopted, will not have been tested and approved until October 2016. The use of taser is still considered controversial by some people, but faced with a baton (essentially a metal stick), pepper spray, taser or a gun, I know which weapon I would rather face if I had to choose. The risk of injury with a baton, or the medium term pain of pepper spray, makes the taser with its intense but very short term pain seem like the best of these rather unattractive options. The taser offers a level of protection for police officers that is valued by many of them and in our current climate this seems to be a vital issue to address. However if a requirement was placed on any police forces to extend their use of taser to more officers, at present this would be impossible to achieve. Perhaps the Home Office needs to consider if it is placing appropriate levels of resource into this process.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Parliament and Democracy, Police & Crime Commissioner, Policing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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