Taser use in Harrogate revealed for first time

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Tasers were used six times in Harrogate last year, new figures released by North Yorkshire Police (NYP) show.

The kit, carried by officers in the county since 2009, is only used in extreme circumstances. Now, the force has revealed it was used four times in 2013, and seven in 2014.

“The firing of a Taser is a rare occurrence,” said Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy.“We do have clear operating procedures and in addition a team of officers who continually review what we do and how we do it to ensure it is deployed correctly to protect both the pubic and the police.”

The figures show that Tasers were used six times in Harrogate as well as once in Ripon;

July 18, 11.30pm - Woodbine Terrace - Patrolling police encountered a man behaving aggressively. Officers attempted to negotiate but he went to pick up a pick axe. Officers tried unsuccessfully to restrain him , the Taser was drawn and red dotted as a warning, before it was fired. He was cautioned for use of threatening behaviour.

August 5, 10pm - Hyde Park Road - Domestic incident. A man used threatening behaviour towards the police, Taser aimed and red dotted (as a warning) effectively. The man was later charged with using threatening behaviour.

August 31, 10pm - Harrogate Police Station - A man brought into custody became aggressive towards a search officer, verbally threatening officers. Taser was drawn and pointed - no red dot was used.

September 24, 12.35am - A59 - A man was caught on foot after trying to flee following a police chase. Believed to be under the influence of an unknown substance, he ignored officers until the Taser was drawn. He was later charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving with no insurance, making off without making payment, and driving while disqualified.

September 28, 5.30pm - Cygnet Hospital - Hospital staff report problems with an aggressive patient. He threatened police with a raised object in a confined space. Unable to withdraw, the officer fired the Taser.

November 14, 4.40pm - Station Parade - Two men were reported fighting for nearly 20 minutes by CCTV operators. They started fighting again as a lone officer arrived, threatening him. Deeming the threat level to him and to members of the public as high, one man was Tasered. Both were arrested and charged with threatening behaviour.

November 14, 6.30am - Harrogate Police Station - A man, who had earlier been Tasered and had attempted self harm in his cell, was red dotted by officers and calmed down.