Tasers will be issued to every frontline officer in one UK police force in response to a ‘sickening trend’ of attacks on the emergency services.
It comes after three police officers were attacked while working, most recently resulting in the death of PC Andrew Harper, who was killed while responding to a burglary in Berkshire last week.
Northamptonshire Police chief constable Nick Adderley, who served in the Royal Navy before joining the police, said the decision to issue the weapons was not taken lightly.
He said: ‘No-one comes to work to be assaulted and I want to make it crystal clear that my officers certainly don’t.
‘It’s time to give all frontline officers the ability to defend themselves and defend members of the public, which involves equipping them with more than a baton, handcuffs and a can of pepper spray.’
Mr Adderley said the weapons ‘would be issued to all officers who want one’.
The chief constable said: ‘Enough is enough.
‘Every week, I am made aware of more and more sickening attacks on my officers – they are spat at, assaulted on a daily basis, and are being exposed to increasing levels of violence when they are deployed to incidents.’
Mr Adderley has previously called for Tasers to be standard issue within three years, but said he was ‘not prepared to wait’.
It will take 18 months to train and equip the officers.
PC Harper, 28, died after being dragged under the wheels of a car at around 11.30pm near the Berkshire village of Sulhamstead.
He had only got married four weeks ago and was reportedly due to go on his honeymoon this week.