An incident in South-West London in which a policeman tasered a 10-year-old girl has sparked discussion about the police’s methods in dealing with violent scenes, particularly those involving children.
Giving evidence on Tuesday, PC Broadhead said ‘I was worried what her intentions were with the Shears. A taser was the best option I had’. Broadhead has now been cleared of gross misconduct for his actions.
According to the police disciplinary panel, PC Broadhead's actions were "necessary, reasonable and proportionate in all the circumstances."
Ann Widdecombe appeared on Patrick Christys Tonight to discuss the incident in South-West London
Patrick Christys hosted a discussion on the incident with former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, on Patrick Christys Tonight on GB News.
He began by asking: “Can the police be trusted with tasers? I mean, it does look a little bit egregious. Should police officers be using tasers against kids?”
“Yes, if the circumstances demand it,” replied Ann.
“You've shown a very dramatic episode there. What you didn't show us was the equally dramatic call from the mother who was scared of the child who'd already hit her with a hammer, who was waving shears of all things around, and who allegedly also was suspected of having drugs in her.
PC Jonathan Broadhead has been cleared of gross misconduct after tasering a 10-year-old girl
“Now the police went into that situation. If they hadn't used tasers, if they tried to physically get the shears from her and they were injured, then you and all these other people who are condemning the police would be full of sympathy and saying it's not fair that the police have to face these situations.
“They did what I believe was proportionate and that is why the officer has been cleared. Now if he'd just gone in and started using it gratuitously, he wouldn't have been cleared.”
Commander John Savell defended PC Broadhead’s use of the taser in this circumstance, saying ‘tasers provide officers with the ability to de-escalate situations and protect others from harm’.
“It’s interesting,” said Patrick. “Because you can argue very well - In fact, it was argued successfully - that in that situation it's absolutely fine to use the taser against the child. Do you feel comfortable with all police officers walking around with tasers?"
Ann defended the police for their actions
“Well, yes I do. I would prefer them to be using tasers than gun and they do need protection against criminals. They need protection and if they have no other choice, I’d much rather they use a taser than guns.
“So yes, I am perfectly happy with this. Are we going to back the police in the fight against crime or every time something happens, are we going to turn against the police? That’s our decision.”
Patrick agreed: “I mean, you can argue that's exactly what a taser is for and the police have to be blind in that situation.
“If there is a report that someone has hit someone with a hammer and they're currently waving garden shears around and they don't do exactly what you do, then get the taser out and crack on.”