Police / Concern over number of assaults on police

Meanwhile tasers have been used 11 times since being introduced in Shetland, from being drawn to being discharged

FRESH concern has been raised about the number of assaults on police officers in Shetland.

Meanwhile as of mid-November tasers have been used by local officers on 11 occasions since they were introduced in 2018, a freedom of information request reveals.

New figures presented to a meeting of Shetland’s community safety and resilience board highlighted how there were eight instances of assault on officers during the period of April to September.

Board chairman Councillor Allison Duncan said “no officer deserves to be punished by the public”.

Councillor Allison Duncan. Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

Police area commander chief inspector Stuart Clemenson highlighted how some assaults may be punches which do not land.

But he said that the risk of assault is part of the job.

“Nobody wants to come to work and get injured,” Clemenson told a meeting of the board on Monday.


“Unfortunately though it’s part of what they do.”

The police chief said officers are equipped to deal with situations where assaults could happen, including undergoing training on open hand techniques.

Tasers can also be used by some local officers, although actually shooting them is a last resort.

Clemenson said even having tasers strapped to officers can act as a deterrent, as well as holding them.

The figure of 11 uses since 2018 ranges from a taser being drawn to being discharged.

Police Scotland said on average a taser is only discharged in 15 per cent of cases.

A taser initially generates around 50,000 volts of electricity, mainly to allow the wires to pass through the air and through clothing.

Once it makes contact with somebody, it drops to 1,500 volts delivered in extremely short pulses.

It can stop the person moving, allowing police officers to remove the threat the person is posing to themselves or others.

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