Police use tasers less than 10 times in 2019 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

ERR's Kajar Kase undergoing the painful effects of being tasered, in the interests of journalism, when the devices were first introduced in the country in 2018.
ERR's Kajar Kase undergoing the painful effects of being tasered, in the interests of journalism, when the devices were first introduced in the country in 2018. Source: ERR

Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) personnel used tasers a total of nine times this year, Baltic News Service reports.

The PPA used tasers, which first appeared in the organization's arsenal in summer 2018, in eight occasions against individuals who attacked personnel, and on one occasion on a dog which did same, BNS reports.

The human attacks all involved either weapons such as knives, or multiple individuals.

PPA readiness and response bureau senior analyst Armin Saarits told BNS that every time that the PPA uses a taser, this is followed by a security tactical analysis to provide recommendations for dealing with dangerous situations.

PPA officers also train in the use of tasers during regular security tactics sessions, he said.

Tasers can be used by PPA officers in situations involving threats to life or well being, and they have a similar legal basis to those of firearms, BNS reports.

The PPA bought over 30 tasers last year at a cost of over €190,000, with various ancillaries likely to be purchased soon, according to BNS.

Taser is a branded product sold by Axon which employs two small barbed darts which puncture the skin and remain attached to the target, connected to the main unit by thin, insulated copper wire, which issues an electric shock, causing neuromuscular incapacitation and strong, localized pain.

The Taser is marketed as less-lethal as while it is not intended to cause fatality, its use or misuse has indeed done so on many reported occasions worldwide.

In the U.K., in the year to March 2018, tasers were reportedly used by police over 17,000 times, a per capita rate nearly 40 times that of Estonia as reported for 2019.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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