Theresa May: police use tasers too often against mentally ill

Drawing Taser Gunsource: The Guardian
published: 23 October 2014

The home secretary, Theresa May, is to order an in-depth review of the use of force by police amid particular concerns that physical restraint and Tasers are being used too often against mentally distressed people.

May will on Thursday cite evidence from the London Assembly that up to 30% of people Tasered by the Metropolitan police are emotionally or mentally distressed, and 50% of those Tasered are from black or other minority ethnic backgrounds.

The home secretary is to tell police forces to record far more information about mentally ill people they detain and about their use of physical restraint and of Taser electroshock stun guns.

Her initiative is part of a drive first announced 18 months ago to end the use of police cells as “places of safety” for mentally ill people.

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