THE Police Complaints Authority (PCA) is endorsing the use of non-lethal weapons, particularly Tasers, which was recently rolled out on a phased basis under the direct supervision of Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.
The PCA, in a release, said it made the recommendation on the use of non-lethal weapons and hence was happy the Tasers are now in use.
A confrontation between the police and a man who attacked guards at a school in Barataria yesterday ended with the the officers shooting the man in the leg. They were not carrying Tasers.
The PCA said the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions summarised four general principles that must govern use of force. One principle, Necessity, is: “Law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duty, shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.
"They may use force and firearms only if other means remain ineffective or without any promise of achieving the intended result.”
At present, the release said, when facing levels of threat a police officer only has the option to usea gun in defending himself against aggressive/violent offenders.
Therefore, the introduction of Tasers by the police will fill this gap once policies and regulations are also implemented to safeguard against excessive use of force.
The PCA said it supports the implementation of Tasers and hopes all police officers will eventually carry them as part of their regulation equipment.
"The PCA is of the view that the use of Tasers will improve the levels of accountability in the conduct of police operations as a non-lethal option," the release ended.