Detailed Taser Use Statistics

HMP Britain made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Home Office.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write with regards to the use of electrocution devices such as the Taser.

I have read the ACPO Ltd's document called 'ACPO taser operational guidance'. Appendix H contains a sheet stating 'THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETED ON EACH OCCASION WHERE THE TASER IS USED'. It also states a copy must be sent to 'Force Liason Officer [of ACPO Ltd]' for onward transmission to 'Police Use of Firearms Secretariat' at ACPO Ltd.

Appendix H also collects data as to how the Taser has been used. For example, it collects data such as where the two electrocution barb projectiles were shot on the body and whether the victim was disabled etc.

I have also read data on your website concerning taser use. In particular, the statistics published on the 17th August 2009 (your ref. CFP\7\10\005\016\025\03\001\01- PT
TASER report 19mth 11/3/9 (7316) ).

There seems a gulf between the data you collect and the data you publish.

Questions

1. The data set you publish on Taser use is very basic. It only contains accumulative totals of Taser usage. I would like to know, for example, how many children were electrocuted by a given force in March 08. Or how Taser use has risen in a given force. Do you have a dataset that I can interrogate to find this, and similar answers.

2. Data is collected by police forces as to where electrocution barbs are shot into a victim's body. I found a research report on your site evaluating the TaserCam (your reference: Publication No. 03/08). In this report, in Appendix C, there is a diagram of the accuracy of the Taser when shot by police officers. It is clear many of the electrocution barbs have missed the intended target and shot the head and groin of the target. I would be interested in receiving information as to the accuracy of the Taser when shot by the police.

3. How is the report into taser use (such as the one mentioned above published 17th Aug) compiled. How do you collect the data and who sends it to the Home Office?

Yours faithfully,

HMP Britain

Home Office

1 Attachment

Reference : T16811/9

Thank you for your e-mail enquiry of 27/09/2009 5:08:27 AM

A reply is attached.

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Dear Sir or Madam,

You collect much more data than you publish. I am keen to obtain this data which is not published but is collected. Therefore, I respectfully request an internal review.

Yours faithfully,

HMP Britain

Dear Sir or Madam,

Would you please confirm my request for an internal enquiry.

Your reference: CR12997

Yours faithfully,

HMP Britain

Lister Ian, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Sir / Madam,

Please see the attached letter concerning your request for an FoIA
Internal Review.

Sincere regards,

Ian

Ian Lister
Information Access Consultant
Information Access Team

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Lister Ian, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Sir / Madam,

Please see the attached letter concerning your FoIA Internal Review into
unpublished use-of-taser statistics.

Sincere regards,

Ian

Ian Lister
Information Access Consultant
Information Access Team

 

 

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Lister Ian, Home Office

2 Attachments

Dear HMP Britian,

Please find attached our response to your request for an Internal Review
into your request for the release of unpublished police use of taser
statistics. I apologise for the time it has taken for us to provide you
with these findings.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the
Internal Review or the handling of your request.

Yours sincerely,

Ian

 

Ian Lister
Information Access Consultant
Information Access Team

 

 

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show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

HMP Britain left an annotation ()

A quick summary & background

1. Every time a Taser is used, a form is completed and sent to the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSD).

2. The information on this form is then transferred into a dedicated database.

3. The request asked for the complete dataset (ie. the database)

4. The Home Office could not provide this as i) we may lack the database software used by the HOSD, ii) it can only output plain text reports (!!!) and iii) many redactions would be necessary.

5. Paper print outs would be too costly (and use 34,000 pages of paper)

6. Converting each plain text database output to an excel spreadsheet would take too much time.

7. Request denied on grounds of cost.

The Home Office do state:

We therefore propose to advise ‘HMP Britain’ that, although we cannot provide the full Taser “dataset” because it would exceed the cost limit to do so, we would be happy to create a number of specific reports to produce the figures and statistics that they are interested in. These reports would also benefit from being released in a similar manner and format to existing Home Office Taser publications, and allow direct comparisons to be made between existing statistical reports.

The Taser Form released by North Wales Police mentioned in the response is here:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ta...