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Bexley police to get tasers next month
BEXLEY police will have a sparky new tool in their kit box next month.
Forty officers are being trained in the use of tasers; electroshock devices used to incapacitate violent offenders with a burst of electric current.
Four of the devices, with two in each equipped vehicle, will be available in the borough at any one time to deal with violent incidents.
A Bexley police spokesman said they would be a useful option for officers in dangerous situations.
He said: "Crime in Bexley has seen 10 years of reductions and the rollout of tasers will provide officers with an additional tactical option to deal with violence.
"Bexley borough is working to launch the carrying of tasers by our response team officers by November 26."
He added: "Taser use has a number of benefits and prevents violent incidents from escalating.
"Around 80 per cent of taser incidents do not involve discharge; just drawing it is enough to diffuse the situation.
"It is often less harmful to offenders than striking them with a baton or using CS spray."
Tasers have been used by the Met since 2003 but only in the hands of specialist units like special firearms unit SC019 and the Territorial Support Group.
Because outer London boroughs are not as regularly patrolled by these units, regular officers in these areas have been the first in London to use them.
Neighbouring Bromley and other outer London boroughs including Harrow, Enfield and Kingston got theirs before the Olympics in July.
By that month the Met had 3,275 officers authorised to use the tasers which omit a 50,000 volt pulse causing strong involuntary muscle contractions.