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Police officers across Britain are expected to be issued with a new and more powerful Taser gun despite calls for use of the potentially fatal weapon to be curtailed, the Guardian has learned.
model has a second shot, in case the first fails to subdue a suspect,
and is equipped with a warning crackle of bright electric light designed
to encourage suspects to surrender before being fired upon.
Home Office has been studying the new Taser for several months after
police applied to use it in Britain. The current single-shot model, the
X26, used by UK police forces, is 13 years old and spare parts are
beginning to run out. Its likely successor, like the current model,
delivers a 50,000-volt surge of electricity to incapacitate a suspect.
Steve White, chair of the Police Federation, which represents 124,000 rank-and-file officers, said: “A police officer gets assaulted every 22 minutes and they should have access to the right equipment, so we welcome the new model Taser. The current model is obsolete and forces can’t get spare parts for them.”