GWENT Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert can start bidding to equip more of his officers with Tasers today (January 13) as part of a Home Office vow to give police more powers and tools to tackle crime.

This follows the Home Secretary’s pledge to put more officers carrying the stun guns on the country’s streets through a £10 million ringfenced fund, allowing them to better protect themselves and others from harm.

Bidding will open on a new online platform launched by the Home Office.


Wales’ four police forces are part of the process and will be able to decide how much funding they apply for based on the threat and risk in their local area.

Last September, the Argus reported how more police officers in Gwent are being injured while carrying out their duties than ever before.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable of Gwent Police, Jon Edwards, said then there is “not a weekend that goes by” when the force does not receive reports of officers being hurt, “often with quite significant injuries”, during the course of their duties.

“It’s something we are seeing more now than we have ever before and it’s something we as a force have got to take real and positive steps towards,” he told a meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel in the autumn.

Gwent Police has projected a 30 per cent increase in the number of officers being assaulted while on duty.

In response to that predicted rise, the force said it was looking to expand its proportion of Taser-trained officers from 20 per cent to 36 per cent.

Speaking about the new bidding process, Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

“Our brave police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and I am committed to giving them the tools they need keep themselves and the public safe

“The rise in assaults on officers is appalling which is why I am providing funding to equip up to 10,000 more officers with Taser – an important tactical option when facing potentially physically violent situations.”

Police and Crime Commissioners will need to outline how many additional officers they plan to train to use Tasers.

The final funding allocations for forces, which cover 2019/20 and 2020/21, will be announced in February.

This comes after a series of announcements supporting the police, including a commitment to boost their ranks with 20,000 new officers over the next three years and increased stop and search powers.

The UK Government also plans to consult on increasing the maximum sentence for assaulting police officers and other emergency service workers.