Socialist Worker

Cops get new shock weapon as evidence of fatal use rises

Issue No. 2533

A cop armed with a taser

A cop armed with a taser (Pic: Harry Mitchell/Wikimedia Commons)


Police officers across Britain are expected to be issued with a new and more powerful Taser gun.

The X2 model has a second shot, in case the first fails to subdue a suspect.

If cops wanting to Taser people twice wasn’t shocking enough, there are also a bunch of additional features.

The X2 is equipped with a warning crackle of bright electric light designed to encourage suspects to surrender before being fired upon.

The current single-shot model, the X26, is 13 years old and spare parts are beginning to run out.

Its likely successor, like the current model, delivers a 50,000-volt surge of electricity to incapacitate a victim.

According to government figures, use of the devices has grown over recent years, with 1,921 Taser discharges recorded by police in England and Wales in 2015.

Black and minority ethnic people are three times more likely to be on the receiving end of the weapons when discharged by officers, according to official figures.

At least 11 deaths in Britain have followed the use of Tasers.

An inquest jury found that police use of a Taser on Jordan Begley in Manchester in 2013 was “not reasonable” and that failings by police officers had contributed to his death.

An official investigation into the incident has been reopened after the first one exonerated police.

Former footballer Dalian Atkinson died after a clash with officers in which a Taser was used in Telford in August this year.

A criminal investigation is underway and it is yet to be determined what the cause of death is and whether the Taser played any part.

The US company that produces the device says it is wrong to describe the weapon as non-lethal, preferring instead the label “less lethal”.

The Police Federation wants any officer who requests a Taser to be given it.


Police phone robbers get round security

Street theft of phones is a rising problem.

And the latest perpetrators are the cops.

Detectives have developed a new tactic to beat criminals using mobile phone encryption—legally robbing them.

Officers seize the phone in the street while the suspect is on a call.

This gets around the problem of having to know the security settings.

Detectives from Operation Falcon dreamt up the “street seizure of the phone” tactic.

This is the specialist Metropolitan Police team running investigations into major fraud and related crimes organised online.

And of course they will only use the tactic for major fraud cases.


Troublemaker makes few recommendations for seasonal gifts. However sometimes a real bargain comes along. Advertised as “gift for Dad” and “gift for wife”, the Theresa May Toby Jug Yellow Colourway is a snip at £24.95.

Though why the Nigel Farage one is more than three times the price at £89 is unclear.


Bailed out bank gets ready to slash jobs

Royal Bank of Scotland is set to unleash yet more job cuts after being ordered to find £2 billion to boost its finances.

The bank, saved by us after the 2008 financial meltdown, admitted “further decreasing its cost base” and selling non-vital parts of the business were needed to hit the target.

The confession came after it failed Bank of England tests to see if it could withstand another 2008-style crisis.

More than 40,000 workers have lost their jobs since the bank was bailed out by the government.

Rivals Barclays and Standard Chartered also struggled to pass the yearly health check.

The government still owns a 73 percent stake in RBS.


HM Revenue & Customs has been slammed for its “scandalous” hiring of a US contractor to cut tax credits.

MPs say Concentrix took a “guilty until proven innocent” approach to claimants—and had a “cut first, think later” approach. Some 90 percent of appeals on decisions were upheld.


Paul Nuttall denies making up his CV and PhD

 

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall (Pic: Guy Smallman)


New Ukip leader Paul Nuttall denied claims that he doctored his online CV and backed privatisation of the NHS.

Nuttall distanced himself from a LinkedIn page which said he had a doctorate from Liverpool Hope University and played professional football for Tranmere Rovers.

He blamed an “over-enthusiastic researcher”.

He told the BBC that he had played for Tranmere’s youth team and had studied for a doctorate. “I’ve never claimed I’ve got a PhD.

“It’s on a LinkedIn page that wasn’t put up by us,” he said.

Nuttall played down comments he made before becoming leader calling for the NHS to be privatised.

He said, “Some point in this century, years on, we may well have to have a debate on how we fund the NHS.”

He didn’t deny being a dangerous racist—which is odd ‘cause he is.


A man who stabbed another man because he had sex with his girlfriend was only sentenced to eight months in prison because the woman “wound him up”.

Jamie Carlton stabbed John Scott in the back in Merseyside and admitted wounding. The judge said that Carlton had “encountered considerable provocation”.


Tory childcare costs don’t really add up

The Tories have made much of their promises to provide free childcare.

But the plan could be hit by a £100 million funding shortage.

The government has set aside £50 million for councils to build nursery schools.

So far £55 million has been asked for by just over a third of councils, Freedom of Information requests show.

When all 152 have made their bids they could exceed £150 million.

That means there may not be enough places to meet a pledge of 30 hours a week for all three and four year olds from next September.


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