Oct 6 2010 by Kenny Smith, Rutherglen Reformer
RUTHERGLEN and Cambuslang residents are being asked to take part in a survey of Strathclyde Police’s Taser trial in the area.
The controversial pilot project to arm cops in Rutherglen and Cambuslang with Taser guns got underway on April 20, for a period of six months.
Fifteen officers operating in Rutherglen and Cambuslang received three days of training to use the Tasers.
The guns, which shoot 50,000 volts to bring down suspects, were issued as part of a crackdown on violent crime and to protect both the public and officers.
Rutherglen and Cambuslang were selected as one of only two areas in the whole of Strathclyde for the project, the other being Glasgow City Centre, due to the high number of officers being injured in the line of duty.
The survey asks residents if they are aware that a trial is currently taking place in the area.
It then asks whether they think that it is a good idea for specially trained local officers to carry a taser while on duty, and whether they strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree or strongly disagree.
They are then asked how knowing that some local officers are carrying a taser on patrol makes them feel, either very safe, fairly safe, a little unsafe and very unsafe.
They are then asked in what circumstances they think it would be appropriate for local officers to use the taser.
Options given include:
To protect members of the public who are faced with violence.
To protect police officers faced with violence.
To protect a person who is threatening physical harm to themselves.
To control disorderly behaviour.
Not appropriate in any circumstances.
Human rights movement Amnesty International called for a halt to the trial in May, as they claimed the scheme had been brought in unlawfully as it didn’t receive written backing from ministers.
They wrote to Justice Minister Kenny McAskill calling on him to halt the project.
They also said that the Scottish Government had a responsibility to determine firearms policy in Scotland.
But the Scottish Government replied by saying firearm legislation was dealt with at Westminster.