Another string has been added to the bow of frontline police in Falkirk district in an attempt to tackle serious crime.
Specially trained officers who have undergone the intense taser courses can now be deployed to incidents in the region where area control room supervisors deem the use of such a weapon necessary.
The extra assurance the stun guns provide on-the-beat police with when they are called out to major situations has seen the roll-out welcomed across all levels of the force.
Although the use of tasers by those on the frontline in Falkirk district is only in its infancy, the concept has already proven successful.
Sergeant Davie Bellingham, of Falkirk Police Station, said: “As a supervisor it gives me another option when it comes to certain incidents like those involving knives which can be brought to a swifter and safer conclusion by deploying taser officers.
“There was a recent incident in Bonnybridge where there was a male with a knife. Taser officers were deployed and it got to the point where they drew the taser and activated the red dot which indicates where it’s going to strike.
“The male then dropped the knife and that was it over. What possibly could’ve resulted in violence and physical injury was resolved without anybody getting hurt.”
The safety knowledge which those who have enrolled on the training programme have acquired means they can act as the lead officer in situations involving a taser, regardless of their rank. Falkirk-based PC Laura Macaulay, who completed her training in June, says having a taser allows her to feel safer in her duty.
She explained: “I feel more confident having it. I think it’s just because you know with your personal protective equipment like batons there are incidents where you’re restricted because of the distance you’re away from people. With the taser you can use it over bigger distances.
“It’s an extra bit of kit where, if there’s an incident where you can’t use your other equipment, you’ve got that option and more confidence knowing that.”