Hainault stabbing: Police federation renews call for every officer who wants a taser to be equipped after shocking attack

Hainault stabbing: Police federation renews call for every officer who wants a taser to be equipped after shocking attack

Watch: Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell tells reporters a schoolboy had died following the horror attack

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders


Published: 01/05/2024

- 08:53

'I would like to see all officers armed with tasers, and I think there is a greater groundswell of police opinion and public opinion that would support that', Peter Bleksley told GB News

The Metropolitan Police Federation has called for "every officer" to be given a taser following yesterday's sword attack in Hainault which left a schoolboy dead and four others - including two police officers - injured.

It is thought the first officers at the scene of yesterday's stabbing were not equipped with the devices, which incapacitate victims via an electric shock, while fewer than a quarter of Met Police officers are currently trained to carry them.


Though the 36-year-old attacker was eventually detained by authorities after a taser was used, the incident has prompted calls for a large-scale roll-out.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Federation said: "Our position is that every officer in London who wants a Taser should have one."

Taser/Police Tasers attacker/Hainault attacker

The attacker, seen here in a yellow hoodie, was eventually detained by authorities after a Taser was used

X/PA

A Metropolitan Police source said some officers wanted to carry the devices but could not get authorisation because they belonged to units that had not had the resources approved, the Telegraph reported.

Some police roles like community and engagement officers are not viewed as requiring tasers day-to-day, while newly-qualified officers do not receive approval to carry the devices until after their training.

A 2019 joint poll by the Police Federation of England and Wales and LBC found that 89 per cent of officers said they would want to routinely carry tasers after being given appropriate training, while almost 97 per cent said their colleagues should be allowed to carry the devices.

A poll of the public conducted at the same time showed that 73 per cent of people thought officers should be able to carry tasers.

MORE ON POLICE AND CRIME IN OUR CAPITAL:

Hainault police presence

Police officers were pictured at the scene yesterday after five people were attacked with a sword

PA

Speaking to GB News yesterday in the immediate aftermath of the attack, former Scotland Yard detective Peter Bleksley called for officers to be armed with "tasers instead of firearms", as he argued that adding "100,000 firearms to the streets of Britain will not make it a safer place to live".

Bleksley continued: "We need further rolling out of tasers, particularly to frontline response officers.

"I would like to see all officers armed with tasers, and I think there is a greater groundswell of police opinion and public opinion that would support that."

But Kevin Hurley, former Detective Chief Superintendent of the Met Police, went even further, calling for all officers to be handed firearms, citing their use in "every other country in the world apart from Iceland and Norway".

Hainault attacker and Peter Bleksley

Peter Bleksley called for all police officers to be armed with tasers on GB News

PA/GB News

Hurley added: "This is another classic example where a guy with a samurai sword ran amok, chopped up people and could have easily killed them.

"You need to have the first police officer on scene be able to take decisive action and stop them harming the public or killing them."

Yesterday, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the day's events were "devastating" and "appalling", adding: "It breaks my heart not only that this child has lost his life, but two members of our emergency services have risked their own safety to make sure others weren't injured."

Khan praised the efforts of the police, who he said were "well aware this was a dangerous man" but, regardless, "risked their own safety to make sure others weren't injured".

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