Nick Vandyke, local candidate for the London Assembly, has welcomed the announcement that the Metropolitan Police will receive a £1,965,150 funding increase to equip 2,382 more police officers with Tasers this year, ensuring they have the resources they need to tackle crime and keep our streets safe.
This increase is part of a £6.7 million funding boost across the country that will deliver over 8,000 new Tasers to 41 police forces, delivering on the Conservative Party's manifesto commitment to put more officers carrying tasers on our streets, allowing them to better protect themselves and others from harm.
Officers have to elect to be specially-trained to use Tasers and it is for Chief Constables to decide how many carry the devices based on strategic assessments of threat and risk in their force areas.
£150,000 has also been allocated to training for Tasers instructors, and around £3.1 million will go towards tackling serious violence and county lines.
This comes after a series of recent announcements supporting the police, including a commitment to boost their ranks with 20,000 new officers over the next three years, with the Metropolitan Police set to benefit from 1,369 new officers by the end of the year - as part of the first stage of the Conservative Government's commitment.
The government has also announced plans to provide the police with additional powers to protect the public and establish a police covenant, ensuring officers and their families get the right emotional and physical support.
Police funding across England and Wales will also increase by £1.1 billion in 2020-21, the biggest funding increase in a decade with the Metropolitan Police set to receive a funding boost of up to £191.2 million - a 8.1% increase.
Commenting, Nick Vandyke said:
I am delighted that because of actions taken by the Conservative government, the Metropolitan Police will receive a £1,965,150 funding increase to deliver 2,382 new Tasers for our officers.
We know that people are concerned about the increase in serious violence - we promised to work to make our communities safer and that is exactly what are doing.
By backing our police with the funding and resources they need, we will keep the public and our communities safe, so that people everywhere can live their lives free from the fear of crime.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
Our brave police officers put themselves in harm's way to protect us all and Taser is a vital option in dangerous situations.
This funding forms part of our commitment to ensure forces have the powers, resources and tools they need to keep themselves and the public safe.
This week I also launched our consultation on the Police Covenant which will enshrine their rights in law, recognising their service and sacrifice.
Equipping over 8,000 more officers with Tasers, so that the police have the resources they need to keep themselves and the public safe. 41 forces in England and Wales will receive £6.7 million to purchase 8,155 devices. £150,000 has also been allocated to training for Tasers instructors and around £3.3 million will go towards tackling serious violence and county lines. (Home Office, News Story, 2 March 2020.)
Giving the police the biggest increase in funding for a decade, so that they have the resources and officers they need to keep us safe. The amount of funding available to the policing system for 2020-21 could increase by £1.1 billion to a total of £15.2 billion. The settlement will provide £150 million in funding to fight organised crime and continue to crack down on online child abuse. Tackling serious violence will be also backed with £39 million, which includes £20 million for county lines drug dealing which is seeing abhorrent gangs terrorising our towns. (Home Office, News Story, 22 January 2020.)
Providing £750 million to policing to enable police forces to recruit the first 6,000 of the 20,000 additional police officers by the end of March 2021. The bulk will be paid to Police and Crime Commissioners (£700 million). The remainder will be spent nationally on capabilities and infrastructure to support the recruitment drive. This includes investments to improve the recruitment process including training and specialist schemes to ensure the right officers end up in the right roles. (Home Office, News Story, 22 January 2020.)
Enshrining a Police Covenant into law, so that our officers know they have the support and protection they need to keep us safe. The Covenant will cover physical protection, health and wellbeing, and support for officers and their families, as well as public recognition for their bravery and work. It will be put on a statutory footing to ensure that Parliament can scrutinise progress made against the Covenant. (Cabinet Office, Queen's Speech, 19 December 2019.)
Introducing a new Serious Violence Reduction Order to help our hardworking police get more weapons off our streets. These new powers will give the police the power to stop and search habitual knife carriers without suspicion. We have already empowered more than 8,000 police officers to authorise enhanced stop and search powers. (Home Office, News Story, 11 August 2019; Home Office, News Story, 27 September 2019; Home Office, News Story, 11 August 2019.)