Police release video of Taser incident outside pub
The Scottish Police Federation has circulated video footage in which a man is shot with a Taser after the incident led to criticism from a watchdog.
Earlier this week, the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) said it was neither “reasonable or necessary” to use the Taser in the incident outside a pub in Bannockburn, Stirling in September.
The SPF, which represents rank and file officers, reacted angrily, asking what the officer should have done differently.
Now the Federation has released video footage showing the confrontation between the man and the officers.
The Pirc said that during the incident, the man had become aggressive towards the officers and had challenged them to a fight.
He had been sprayed twice with PAVA spray (an incapcitant) and witnesses described him being disorientated and walking backwards, away from officers, when the Taser was discharged.
He was charged with a number of offences and later convicted.
However, the watchdog recommended that the Specially Trained Officer (STO) who used the Taser undergo further training and reassessment.
Responding to the publication of the report earlier this week, SPF General Secretary Calum Steele said: “It is surprising that the Pirc makes no comment on what the officers should have done, rather they criticised what was done.”
In a message accompanying the video posted on social media, the SPF said: “This man had escaped from police, was non-compliant, challenging officers to a fight on a busy road. (Incapcitant spray) PAVA was used and didn’t work. Apparently Taser was ‘disproportionate’. Our simple question to the Pirc is ‘what would you...?’”
Police Scotland last year equipped 500 officers with Tasers amid concerns over unarmed officers being sent to violent incidents.
A spokesman for the Pirc said: "Our role as an independent organisation is to investigate serious matters which have been referred to us, in this case by Police Scotland. Following our investigation into this particular incident, we published a report with our findings and recommendations.”
Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, of Police Scotland, said: “All Specially Trained Officers receive rigorous training before they are deployed with Taser and every discharge is referred to the Pirc for independent scrutiny.
“Our officers face increasing threats of violence from people and on this occasion were challenged to a fight by an aggressive suspect.
“Equipping officers in the heart of local police divisions with Taser helps keep their colleagues, and ultimately the public, safe and is in line with forces throughout the UK.
“While learning has been identified on this occasion, Police Scotland is committed to supporting our officers who make difficult, split second, decisions on a daily basis.”