Tasers 'drawn on 400 children' in 2013

British police fired the 50,000-volt stun guns at 10 to 17-year-olds on 37 occasions

Police officer holsters a taser gun
(Image credit: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty)

More than 400 children in England and Wales had Tasers aimed at them by police in 2013, according to figures from the Home Office Taser database.

The figure represents a 38 per cent increase on the previous year, the BBC reports. Tasers were fired 37 times at 10 to 17-year-olds.

According to the figures – obtained through a freedom of information request – the youngest person to have a Taser aimed at them was just 11 years old, while the youngest person to have been fired upon was 14.

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The age group most likely to be Tasered was 17-year-olds, who were involved in 180 incidents, followed by 16-year-olds with 132 incidents. These figures included occasions where the weapon was aimed, fired or simply removed from its holster.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has asked for a review of how the weapon is used.

Senior police figures are currently campaigning for all 127,000 "frontline officers" across the country to be armed with Tasers, the Daily Mail reports.

But in an interview with the BBC, former Home Secretary David Blunkett, who was responsible for introducing Tasers to the country, said it was time to look at how the stun gun is used by police.

"I think it's time for a review that incorporates the use of Tasers with advice and support on how to deal with difficult situations," he said.

"For a youngster, 11 years old, a Taser is not in my view an appropriate way of dealing with a situation which clearly must have been out of hand, but where we need to train people to use much more traditional alternatives."

Solicitor Sophie Khan, who advocates on behalf of people who have been Tasered by police said: "Tasers should only be used on children if there is no other feasible way to restrain them."

However, a Home Office spokesman insisted that Tasers were an invaluable part of the police arsenal: "Taser is an important tactical option to help specially trained police officers resolve potentially violent situations safely, but it is right that its use is subject to [a] level of scrutiny."

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