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60 more police to train on Taser guns

Amnesty says officers must be educated as if they were firearms

MORE front-line police officers are to be trained in the use of controversial Taser stun guns.

Hampshire Constabulary announced yesterday that another 60 officers will be chosen for training to use the high-voltage weapons, at a cost of about £20,000. Officers will be trained by the end of next year.

Amnesty International arms control director Oliver Sprague said the move would only be a good investment if the officers are trained to the same high standard as firearms officers.

Police forces need "to be far more open about the full circumstances during which their officers are using this potentially lethal weapon on our streets," he said.

Amnesty is not against the use of Tasers if used by specially trained officers trying to prevent a death or a serious injury, he said, but there was concern that forces were putting the weapons into the hands of undertrained officers, "who could use them during relatively minor disturbances and even to police non-violent protests."

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