Taser Use (822A/23)
- On how many occasions between January 2013- December 2022 a taser was used by this force where the subject was aged 18 or under.
2. I would like to see one table where the data is disaggregated by year e.g. 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and age e.g. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18.
3. I would also like to see another table where the data disaggregated by usage type: Drawn, Aimed, Red dotted, Arced, Fired, Drive stun or Angled Drive Stun and age e.g. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18.
4. How many officers currently working in this force have received comprehensive taser training in the past five years to 16th May 2023.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all of this information within the appropriate (cost) limit under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. This is because prior to January 2018 we did not record use of force data electronically or in a centrally collated format. Therefore, in order to identify any information prior to that date we would need to conduct a manual review of records stored in various locations and formats. Similarly, with regard to the age of the subjects, this information is not stored in a centrally collated format – the date of birth would be contained within each individual use of force record. We have identified 6,708 taser records that could be relevant to this request by filtering these down by perceived subject age group and we estimate it would take approximately 5 minutes to drill down into each record to find the date of birth. However, to conduct this manual search would take around 559 hours of work, which would far exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12). Please be advised that this estimate does not include the work that would be required to identify information prior to 2018.
This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.
However, under Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide advice and assistance in relation to your request and can provide taser usage data broken down by perceived subject age group for the period 2018 – 2022 as this was retrieved during our initial research. Please find our response attached (822A_Attachment).
This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:
In addition to the attached response, please be advised that officers should only use a taser device in response to an identified threat where a taser is deemed by the officer as a proportionate response to that threat. With this in mind, certain police officers are selected, trained and accredited to carry taser devices as part of their normal daily role, meeting a rigorous selection and training programme of 18 hours of training with assessment. Officers that carry a taser are required every year to requalify to carry a taser by completing 6 hours of training and assessment.
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.