Crime

Shocking News For People Who Love Good News

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Who said anything about a global financial meltdown? It sure as hell wasn't the U.K.'s Home Office or its police force. From the BBC:

An extra 6,000 Taser stun guns are to be used by police in England and Wales at a cost of £8m, the Home Office says.

The funding follows a 12-month trial in 10 forces to extend their use to trained frontline officers…

The Home Office also announced an additional £2.3m to pay for the cartridges.

For those without a calculator on hand, that comes to about $14.8 million. During the trial period, police bought 10,000 stun guns, costing approximately $14.4 million.

Police forces are quite keen on stun guns, calling them an "'effective' and 'less lethal alternative' to firearms." Opponents, however, note that "less lethal" doesn't mean "not lethal." There's good news and bad news for those worried about British police treating stun guns as nothing more than battery-powered batons. The List:

The Bad News: The Tasers can be (and are) used on kids.

The Good News: Police only shocked little ruffians "a total of 28 times in a 20-month period."

The Bad News: Prior to the 12-month trial, it was unclear whether pregnant women could be zapped.

The Good News: The Government is taking precautions by "'specifically ask[ing]' for computer simulations to be carried out to analyse the effect on 'a pregnant female.'"

The Good News: A training course and refresher classe are required.

The Bad News: Training course is two days; refresher classes are annual.

When the trial began in 2007, the British Crime Survey showed that crime rates had been relatively stable since 2005. Indeed, England experienced a 42 percent drop in crime since 1995, when violent crime rates peaked. According to Paul McKeever, spokesman for the Police Federation of England and Wales, "the investment rightly reflects the professionalism of police officers nationwide and recognises the vital role Taser plays in the fight against crime."

With all the dangers stun guns pose and the IMF's prediction that the U.K. "is heading for its worst year since the Great Depression," the Home Office should put that money to better use.

Reasons to love England below:

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  1. rightly reflects the professionalism of police officers nationwide

    A phrase that should send Radley’s regular readers screaming for the exits.

  2. I love how violence is always the first option. I miss Barney Fife with his one bullet in the pocket technique.

    Also points if I’m right in guessing that the title is a Modest Mouse reference.

    Probably their ‘best’ album.

  3. Ever watch Cops? Those guys will taser you for looking at them funny.

    I don’t trust police, especially in my hillbilly state. I’ve known too many people who became cops because they have a gun fetish.

  4. Tasers are great tools for police. Like any weapon or tool, they may be subject to abuse by some individuals, just like firearms, baseball bats and pocket knives are all abused by some citizens in the U.S. The folks at Reason should easily recognize this.

    It would be shortsighted to say never taser a child or pregnant woman under any circumstances. Legitimate circumstances may indeed arise. What if a pregnant woman is standing there with a knife threatening to “cut this devil child out of my body!” A knife is a deadly weapon to the woman, the unborn child and the officer, but deadly force here would be hard to justify. A taser allows the officer to disarm the pregnant woman without additional risk if he were to approach her up close.

  5. Don’t taze me, bro!

  6. “….computer simulations to be carried out to analyse the effect on ‘a pregnant female.'”

    WTF? How the hell can you simulate such a thing?

  7. JLM,

    It’s quite simple. You taze a population of pregnant women–say, 1,500–then you take the data from those tazings and plug it into a computer. The computer can extrapolate from that data all sorts of useful simulations.

  8. It would be shortsighted to say never taser a child or pregnant woman under any circumstances.

    Absolutely! It should be done the YouTube way – when they are already prostrated, kicked and abused, THEN you taser them!

  9. “Absolutely! It should be done the YouTube way – when they are already prostrated, kicked and abused, THEN you taser them!”

    A couple of summers ago, I looked out of my upstairs window at the Gangster Disciple house across the street and this kid who was about 8-years-old was chasing his 3-year-old brother with a stun gun, zapping him repeatedly. All the while, their big fat grandma (well aware of what was going on) just sat there on the front steps yapping into her cell phone.

    Fortunately, the house burned down a few months later.

  10. Tasing should be a last resort, used only after the nightstick and pistol have failed.

  11. Tasers are great if they are used as an alternative to deadly force (e.g. a gun), not as an alternative to handcuffs or as a way to vent frustration on anyone who dares question your authority.

  12. The Government is taking precautions by “‘specifically ask[ing]’ for computer simulations to be carried out to analyse the effect on ‘a pregnant female.'”

    They can’t be serious. Those simulations will be nothing but eyewash; there is no subject for human subject research. I am sure that pregnant policewomen and the pregnant wives of policemen will be happy to volunteer.

  13. Pregnancy’s not always visible.

  14. Tasers don’t tase people, police officers do.

  15. I’m with Steve on this one. No taser means the cop has to use a baton which is more likel to cause real tissue damage. Tasers hurt more, but after the juice is cut off, it’s just a bad memory and not a skull fracture.

  16. I don’t know about you guys, but getting tazed is kinda fun. So ya know, definitely better than being shot or being beat by a baton.

    just my $.02

    Oh.. I also benchpress cars and wrestle alligators.

  17. Just another example of creeping authoritarianism in the UK,

    There has always been some kind of loose social contract between the police and population

    generally the police havn’t be more armed that the general population, armed squads where only dispatched when firearms were reported

    nowerdays you see armed police regularly walking the streets

    Its a shame because
    actually Its one of the few countries in the world where that social contract has applied

    I’ve never met anyone here in continental Europe who questions the police’s right to carry fire arms or civilians’ obligation to carry ID cards

    both are on they way to the UK, unless the conservatives win the next election

  18. Isn’t the invention of bagpipes alone more than enough to justify nuking the limeys until they glow…

  19. 6,000 tasers are the best form of stimulus.

  20. During the trial period, police bought 10,000 stun guns, costing approximately $14.4 million.

    Wow. $14,400,000/10,000=$1,440 apiece. Stun Guns Cheaper has a variety of colors on sale at $334.95 each, with two extra air cartridges and free shipping.

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