TASERS will be rolled out to 160 extra Sussex Police officers in the next few months, the force revealed last week.
Although tasers, also known as stun guns, have been in use by Sussex firearms officers for some years, the force had previously restricted use to authorised firearms officers.
But now six per cent of the force will be trained in taser use later this year.
Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, head of Operations for Sussex Police, said: “Sussex Police was one of the small number of forces that have previously restricted the use of taser to specialist firearms officers.
“Experience, both locally and nationally, has shown that it can act as a deterrent to the escalation of violence. Nearly 70 per cent of incidents where there is a possibility of using taser, end without it being discharged.”
The force say that nationally stun guns have been shown to reduce the levels of force used by officers when dealing with violent or threatening situations by avoiding the use of a baton and captor spray.
Police believe this means there will be fewer incidents that need to be attended by fully armed officers.
He continued: “We would only deploy taser to an incident where there was a real threat of violence.
“Sussex Police has previously restricted the use of Taser to firearms officers. By extending its use to a small number of highly trained local officers, we will be able to reduce the number of times fully armed officers are deployed on our streets.”
He added: “You will not be seeing Taser in day-to-day use by officers or PCSOs undertaking normal patrol activities in Sussex.”