Taser Zaps The United Kingdom

    May 17, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A $390,000 USD sale to law enforcement there comes in the wake of weakened revenue projections and safety concerns about stun-gun technology.

The Scottsdale AZ-based security company, Taser International, announced a sale of its Taser X26 devices and accessories to agencies in the United Kingdom.

“This order shows continued demand for TASER devices in the United Kingdom following a recent poll in which roughly 80% of law enforcement officers wish to deploy TASER technology,” stated Kevin Coles, Managing Director of Pro-Tect Systems Ltd in Northampton, UK, in a press release.

Concerns over stun-gun safety in the wake of several Taser-related deaths have put a chill on the company’s sales. The company contends officers may have misused or overused Tasers on suspects who later died.

The Taser isn’t a new invention, instead having been first created in the 1960s by Jack Cover, who was an advocate of handgun alternatives. It was created to give law enforcement a non-lethal ranged option.

A typical officer who has a confrontation with a suspect who doesn’t want to be arrested has two options. The first involves going in hand-to-hand combat with the suspect, a risky prospect if the suspect has some competence in defending himself, or is under the influence of certain drugs.

The other option would be a use of lethal force, at range, by shooting the suspect. And police departments cannot go around killing every suspect they encounter just because the suspect runs or resists arrest.

As a short-range option, Taser International offers a decent range of about twenty-five feet. An officer shoots two electrified darts at a suspect and delivers a shock that should lock up the suspect’s muscles briefly. The effect is supposed to be non-lethal and not permanent.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.