Tasers a success in Bundy

A YEAR after Tasers were introduced at the Bundaberg station, police say the tool has played a vital part in calming dangerous situations.

A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said the electro-shock stun guns had helped Bundaberg officers several times in situations “where police or community members were being seriously threatened by an offender”.

She highlighted two cases in the region where they were used to help control situations, including threats with an iron bar and threats with a knife.

“Since being introduced in Bundaberg, the Tasers quickly showed their worth in helping police deal with violent and dangerous situations without resorting to the use of a firearm,” the spokeswoman said.

“Tasers have proved particularly beneficial in situations where people were threatening to harm themselves or others, allowing police to resolve the situation without injury to the public or themselves.”

In the North Coast Police Region, which stretches from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast, police have logged 79 Taser deployments.

But the spokeswoman said the devices were extremely effective as deterrents, and they were only discharged eight times.

“Significantly, on 71 of those occasions the Taser was ‘presented’— that is, drawn and not discharged,” she said.

A Taser delivers a five-second electrical pulse from barbed electrodes, immobilising the victim from up to 10 metres away.

Use by civilians is restricted.

The spokeswoman said the Queensland Police Service had made a considerable effort to ensure everyone in the community was aware of the training, policy and accountability frameworks put in place in an attempt to ensure Tasers were used appropriately.

“There are robust internal reporting requirements around the deployment of Tasers, and every time they are aimed at someone or activated, the situation will be overseen at a regional level to ensure it was appropriate,” the spokeswoman said.

“There is also oversight by the Ethical Standards Command, as well as external oversight by the Crime and Misconduct Commission.”

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