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First use of Taser gun in Scottish incident


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First use of Taser gun in Scottish incident


A TASER gun was used to control a suspect for the first time in Scotland last night, two months after the controversial police weapon was issued to Scotland's biggest force.

The hand-held device administers a 50,000-volt electrical current which causes muscle dysfunction, incapacitating a person temporarily.

It is understood the Taser was used during an incident at a Texaco garage in Newmains, Lanarkshire. Strathclyde Police confirmed the weapon had been used last night, but did not immediately confirm the circumstances.

Police officers from the Strathclyde force have been carrying Tasers since September and were the first officers in Scotland to do so.

The force introduced the guns after what it called "successful trials" among English police using the non-lethal weapons.

In the UK, the devices can be used only by authorised firearms officers.

Strathclyde's Assistant Chief Constable Ian Learmonth said in September: "The trials were independently evaluated and the report on the operational trials concluded that the use of Taser 'helped to secure a positive outcome to an incident, minimising the potential need for officers to deploy other, possibly more lethal technologies'.

"While Taser will always be deployed alongside conventional firearms and should not be seen as a replacement for such weapons, Taser will provide another less lethal option which may assist in the safe resolution of firearms incidents without recourse to more lethal force."

The Taser is seen as a less lethal option than conventional guns to use in conflict situations, but human rights groups have argued against its use. Amnesty International claims that over 130 people in the US and Canada have died after being shocked by the weapon. It called for a medical inquiry into the weapon before it was used in the field

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