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11 December 2014, 10:25
Hampshire Police have revealed they used a taser five times on a man at a Southampton petrol station.
Police were called at around 2.30am on Thursday 4 December to reports of a man carrying a blade and making threats on the forecourt of the Shell service station on Bassett Avenue. As the incident progressed, it became clear the man was carrying two knives.
Officers equipped with, and trained in the use of, Taser were deployed to the scene to engage with the man. Their priority was to make the area safe for staff at the garage and the wider community as well as maintaining their own safety and that of the man himself.
The officers initially spoke to the man to try and negotiate with him. He became increasingly agitated and aggressive. The officers fired rounds from their baton guns which had no effect on the man. They then drew and discharged their Taser. The man was incapacitated and the officers were able to safely detain him.
Eight patrol response officers arrived at the scene initially followed by four officers from the force’s armed response unit and a dog handler. Other units were held in reserve to support and keep the area safe.
Three officers discharged their Tasers five times in total. A force spokesperson said:
"The ideal is not to discharge Taser at all. From there, we aim to discharge once and after that to discharge them the minimum number of times until the situation is made safe."
As matter of course, Hampshire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department reviewed the use of police force in this incident and determined that it was legitimate and proportionate in the circumstances and that the 29-year-old man did not suffer any serious injuries.
Chief Inspector Ian Whyton said:
“Taser is one of a range of tactical options available to the police when dealing with violent individuals or people who threaten violence.
“It is rare that we have to resort to discharging Taser; in the majority of cases simply drawing it is enough to deter suspects. We only discharge Taser if there is a heightened risk of harm either to the general public, suspects themselves or police officers responding to the incident.
“Hampshire Constabulary continually monitors and reviews its use of Taser.”