Taser Threat Cop Suspended

Taser stun gun demonstration

A police officer has been suspended for allegedly threatening to shoot a hospital patient with a Taser.

Sussex Police were called to the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards, East Sussex, to deal with a “drunk and unruly” patient when the incident is said to have taken place.

The Taser was not discharged and the patient, a 31-year-old man from Hastings, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

He has been released on bail until April 26, police said.

A force spokesman confirmed its professional standards department is investigating the incident which is alleged to have taken place on March 21 at 11.30pm.

He said: “A 35-year-old male police constable, based in East Sussex, has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing.

“Officers who carry Tasers outside of the firearms unit must pass suitability checks before undergoing a thorough four-day training programme.

“This includes tactical and handling assessments and is designed to test decision making under pressure.”

The use of stun guns by police officers in England and Wales surged by nearly a third to more than 10,000 deployments last year.

Taser use rose from a combined 8,161 in 2012 to 10,380 in 2013, according to Home Office figures.

But the proportion of cases when the Taser was fully fired dropped between 2012 and 2013 from 21% to 17%.

The most common use of a Taser in each of the last two years was so-called “red dot” use, accounting for 51% of use, which is when the weapon is not fired but aimed and partially activated so a laser red dot is placed on the suspect.