Britain Buzzes Over Plan to Give Bobbies Tasers

Opponents fret over potential misuse, loss of gentle image
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted Dec 11, 2008 1:45 PM CST

(Newser) – A plan to outfit London’s iconic, and traditionally unarmed, bobbies with Tasers has lawmakers and police worrying about potential misuse and tarnishing the UK’s gentle image—which has included arms-free policing since 1829, the Christian Science Monitor notes. Over the past 20 years, 37 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Advocates of the 50,000-volt accessory say police need more protection.

“It would appear that more people are willing to challenge authority figures than they once were,” said one officer. While Amnesty International notes Tasers played a role in more than 320 fatalities in the US and Canada, the Daily Express voiced support after 2007’s fatal stabbing of an officer with the front-page headline: “Now Arm All Our Police.”