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WALES: pounds 4m to be spent on Taser weapons.

THE Government has ordered 5,000 Taser stun guns at a cost of pounds 4 million, the company which makes the weapons said last night.

Taser International said the weapons and the accessories that go with them were shipped late last year.

Ministers have pledged to provide 10,000 guns to frontline officers in England and Wales.

The move follows a trial in which non-firearms officers were given the weapons for the first time after special training.

But the Metropolitan Police will not be extending the use of the weapons because of fears they could "damage public confidence" in the force.

A Home Office spokesman said the weapons would help protect the public and allow police to do their job safely.

He said: "An order for the initial 5,000 costing pounds 4 million has been placed by the Home Office to get better value for money than could be achieved by individual forces placing orders.

"The numbers of Tasers provided to police forces will depend on the independent operational assessment by chief officers."

Use of the weapons will be limited to situations where officers or members of the public face the threat of serious violence.

Human rights group Amnesty International criticised the growth in use of the 50,000-volt weapons, which they say are "potentially lethal".

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Taser guns will be bought for police after a successful trial
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2009
Words:230
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