The Metropolitan Police says that its officers have fired Tasers at 2 children aged 14, and 11 elderly people in the past 2 years.
The details were revealed in a response to a Freedom of Information request from the leader of the Conservatives on the Greater London Assembly, Andrew Boff. The details from the Met also show it aimed but did not fire Tasers in 29 other incidents involving people over 60, including 2 people who were 85.
Andrew Boff called the use of the electronic stun guns on the young and elderly “questionable” and has suggested that Tasers be linked to body-worn camera to record incidents.
Despite some controversy about the ages of people involved in these incidents Taser use by the Met has gone down. In 2013 Tasers were fired 248 times. In 2014 it was 216. But data from the Met shows a change in the pattern of use across the capital.
In 2013 the spread of firing incidents was broadly even. In 2014 Lambeth had almost twice the number of firing incidents of any other borough. There have been steep rises in use in Barnet, (1 in 2013 to 14 in 2014) and Redbridge (7 in 2013, 13 in 2014). Harrow and Richmond had no Taser firings.
Tasers were first introduced by the Met in 2004 and 2,000 officers are trained and equipped to use them. The devices fire 2 darts carrying an electrical charge of up to 50,000 volts, which temporarily incapacitates its victim. The Met says that every use of a Taser is reported and scrutinised and officers are individually accountable under law for the level of force they use.