Taser use justified after man reports being robbed and threatens to stab robber and police

Published Date: 03.09.2015

A Police Ombudsman investigation has concluded that an officer was justified in using Taser against a man who called 999 to report that he had been robbed, and who warned that he was going to kill the robber and stab the first police officer who called with him.

Like all discharges of police firearms, the incident was referred by the Chief Constable to the Police Ombudsman for independent investigation.

The man made the 999 call shortly after midnight on 12 April 2015, but did not give his name. His phone number was traced and officers were sent to his address in Randalstown.

Officers told Police Ombudsman investigators that when they arrived, the man came to his front door with a knife in his hand. They described his behaviour as aggressive and threatening, and said that after being warned to drop the knife he instead approached police with the knife in his hand.

Taser was then used, causing the man to fall backwards and drop the knife, which then allowed officers to restrain him.

A copy of the 999 call was obtained by Police Ombudsman investigators, and this confirmed that the man had been verbally abusive and had made repeated threats to kill and to stab the first officer who responded to his call.

Radio transmissions were analysed and these confirmed that the information from the 999 call was accurately relayed to police crews.

The officer was also found to be properly trained in the use of Taser.

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire concluded that the use of Taser had been lawful, proportionate and necessary.

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