14 November 2019
The St Helena Chief of Police has reviewed the carriage, use, deployment and storage of Conducting Energy Devices (commonly known as Tasers) by the St Helena Police Directorate. This review is completed every six months.
Since the authorisation:
- Eight public meetings have taken place in Island districts and there has been a radio show discussing the CED
- There are still small numbers of Police Officers to attend incidents of violence
- One officer has been assaulted when an offender resisted arrest
- There have been occasions when there has only been one officer on duty, due to illnesses and necessary training, resulting in no immediate ‘back up’
- An assessment of the download data shows that there has been full compliance with the use of the issued CED
- No public complaints have been received regarding the use of force since the issuing of the authority to carry the CED
- Officers have drawn the CED on two occasions:
- The first to assist in controlling an intoxicated, aggressive, verbally abusive, injured man and to protect the officer and another emergency service worker
- The second occurred when an officer attended the home of a male who had assaulted another person that day. This decision was based on a risk assessment by the Officer at that time.
In light of this review, and the legal duty placed on the Chief of Police, he has determined that there is a need to re-authorise the issue of CEDs to Police Officers in order to:
- Be able to continue to protect the life and well-being of the public
- Be able to continue to protect the life and well-being of police officers
- Be able to continue to use the least amount of force to achieve control and compliance of those persons who demonstrate they intend to use force to commit offences.
However as a result of the review the tactical plan for the deployment of the CEDs has been changed. The plan is now:
- To issue the officers with the authority for the permanent carriage of CEDs to enable them to dynamically assess and manage threat and risk. This is to protect the public and themselves
- Where the assessment of risk is very low then CEDs will not be carried, for example during crowd management at commemorative events or similar situations
- Where joint patrolling is undertaken, and the threat and risk is low, then CEDs will not be carried overtly. In this case they will be carried in a vehicle CED ‘safe’
- For officers to operate body cameras when the CED is drawn. This will start in December 2019 when the cameras are available on-Island.
This plan for the deployment of CEDs follows engagement with the public and aims to be proportionate, respectful of public views and allow the Police Service to deploy the CED in a manner that maintains public cooperation and respect.
The Chief of Police will review the authority every six months. The next review will take place before 29 April 2020.
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14 November 2019