New Resistance Lab report warns about the growing threat to life posed by increased Taser use

A new report published by Resistance Lab warns about the dangers of increased Taser use. The report shows that the use of Taser by police forces in England and Wales has increased by more than 500% over the last decade. In Greater Manchester specifically, Taser use has increased by 73% from 832 incidents in 2017/18 to 1,442 incidents in 2018/19.

These increases should be understood in a context where Black Lives Matter protests have drawn renewed attention to racist policing and have highlighted the need to think meaningfully about defunding the police.

A Growing Threat to Life: Taser usage by Greater Manchester Police is the first report by the newly launched Resistance Lab – a coalition of academics, activists, and grassroots community groups working to confront state violence in Greater Manchester.  

Using Home Office data, the report finds that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) reported more incidents involving Taser, whether discharged or not, than any other police force with the exception of the Metropolitan Police in 2018/19.

It also highlights significant racial disparities in GMPs use of Taser, with Black people four times more likely to have a Taser used against them than their white counterparts.

The report also raises alarms about the use of Taser against children and young adults. In 2018/19, GMP reported more incidents (118) involving the use of Taser against children under the age of 18 than any other force with the exception of the Metropolitan Police. Whilst the Home Office notes that data from GMP on Taser use against children contains errors, it nonetheless indicates a normalisation in the use of violence towards children from the state.

Resistance Lab make one key demand: the urgent abolition of Taser. As a member organisation of Resistance Lab, Northern Police Monitoring Project is proud to support this demand and the ongoing work of Resistance Lab to confront state violence.

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