Until now British police have been armed with a truncheon, handcuffs and a pointy helmet with the idea of arming our officers being mooted but dismissed as a step too far. As a halfway option, some police forces have been trialing the Taser stun gun.
The trials complete, the Association of Chief Police Officers will now make Tasers "readily available" for "conflict management" at incidents of "violence and threats of violence of such severity that they will need force".
Until now, Tasers, which emit a 50,000-volt electric shock, have been used only by specialist officers as a "non lethal" alternative to firearms. However, they can now be used against all potentially violent offenders even if they are unarmed.
Chillingly, the decision not to ban their use against minors and tests whether the weapons could cause a miscarriage if used on a pregnant woman, is raising serious concerns.
Those of us who are old hands at protests have seen the baton charge by the riot squad, have heard the sickening thud of baton against skull or kneecap and wonder just what lays in store for future demonstrators.
It is not the idea of stun guns i am against, i really cannot say with my hand on my heart, that i trust the people wielding them. Indiscriminately thrashing your baton around is bad enough, blindly firing 50,000 volts into a crowd of protesters is another thing entirely. As is shooting children with what has proved to be a lethal dose of electricity.
CBS NEWS states Tasers killed 10 adults in America last month alone and now the Home Office says it’s ok to use them on kids?
Should i even be typing that last sentence outside of some future dystopian novel?