Police murders prompt Tasers call

Blackpool Citizen: The head of Wiltshire Police wants more Tasers available to his officers The head of Wiltshire Police wants more Tasers available to his officers

A police chief constable says more officers should be given Tasers in the wake of the murders of two policewomen, killed in a gun and grenade attack in Greater Manchester this week.

Wiltshire Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said he was looking into the possibility of increasing the number of stun guns available to officers in his force, despite many nationwide saying they opposed the idea.

Earlier this week Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, ruled out arming officers after the killing of Pcs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that handing weapons to Britain's traditionally unarmed frontline police force "[wouldn't] necessarily solve the problem", adding: "You only have to look to the American experience. I can't describe this particular case in detail but the reality is, the clear view of the British police service from top to bottom is we don't want to be armed."

Chief Constable Geenty, in an interview with the Swindon Advertiser, admitted most officers would consider their being armed "a backward step".

But he added: "Training more officers to use Tasers would do more to protect them. Some of our rural officers can be isolated and they can feel vulnerable. At the moment out of each shift of 15 officers, only two of them are trained to use Tasers. I am looking to see whether we can increase that."

Pc Hughes, 23, and Pc Bone, 32, died on Tuesday after they were called to a report of a burglary in Hattersley.

Police from across the country have also offered to provide cover so officers can attend the funerals of Pcs Bone and Hughes.

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