'More tasers for police' in North Yorkshire plea by PFCC candidate

The Conservative candidate in the battle to be the new North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is calling for more tasers to be introduced for police officers in the county.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:29 pm
Should the police have more access to tasers? That's the viewpoint of one candidate for the role of North Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in the forthcoming election.

Former Harrogate councillor Philip Allott wants all officers in North Yorkshire involved in operational activities that could put them at physical risk of injury to have taser guns.

The Government is currently making £10 million available to increase the number of trained and equipped officers following violent attacks where officers have been stabbed or hit by vehicles.

Mr Allott said: “The ultimate decision on the use of Tasers is the operational responsibility of Chief Constable.

“But I am very keen that every officer who wants one should be given one, subject of course to appropriate training, as all police officers must have the right to defend themselves.”

Mr Allott’s statement comes in the same week North Yorkshire’s independent candidate so far for the role of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) set out his priorities ahead of the election which will take place on Thursday, May 7.

Businessman and former police officer Keith Tordoff MBE said he would be focusing on five key areas as part of his campaign to be elected to the role which supports the county’s chief constable and chief fire officer.

Mr Tordoff, who was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2018, said his priorities were related to the following:

1. The protection of Life and Property

From the youngest to oldest and the most vulnerable in society, they must be protected.

The Police and Fire services can help people to protect themselves and their property through help, advice and support.

2. More Police on Patrol

Recruiting more police officers, special constables and volunteers to engage with people in the community. The more people who can be recruited, the more eyes and ears to tackle problems in society. Engaging and collaborating with other agencies.

3. Tackling County Lines Drug Dealing and Anti-Social Behaviour

Propose new initiatives to stop the above issues which are affecting the whole of North Yorkshire.

4. Preventing online fraud, bullying, harassment and all types of abuse

Agency and community collaboration.

Greater support to investigate complaints.

5. Improving efficiency through best use of resources

Blue light services working together. Invest in the Police and Fire services, providing the highest quality equipment and technology.

Have an efficient 101 service which matches that of the 999 service so that no information is lost.

Mr Tordoff said: “From speaking to many people across North Yorkshire, the issues which I’ve highlighted are a real concern to them.

“I want to make sure that every single person feels safe in their community.

“Every crime has an effect on people and it’s important that every victim feels that they are being listened to and supported.”

The Electoral Commission is expected to set a deadline of the end of February for official entries for the North Yorkshire PFCC election.

The only other candidate to have announced an intention to run so far is Mark Christie for the Lib Dems.

Mr Christie said: “My vision for North Yorkshire is not only to tackle crime in all its forms, from low level anti-social behaviour to more serious criminal acts, but also to ensure communities feel safe, valued and supported.”

He has set out a list of issues to be tackled which include:

The scourge of the drug dealers operating across county lines.

The mental ill-health caused by anti-social behaviour.

The increasing levels of crime experienced by farmers and others in rural areas

The high cost of reckless fly-tipping.

The need to fully support and respond to victims of crime.

Conservative Candidate Philip Allott is campaigning for total police transparency and believes that the role of the new PFCC must be totally independent from the police and, therefore, should not be held by any former serving officer.