Justice minister Ard van der Steur has decided against equipping Dutch police with tasers – a hand-held piece of equipment which issues a powerful electric shock.
Dutch police officers are currently equipped with a hand gun, a truncheon and pepper spray but the current truncheons will be replaced by a longer, collapsible version from 2018. The new truncheon also has more hitting power, NOS says.
According to broadcaster NOS, police and the minister felt introducing two new weapons at the same time was not an option. In addition, the €1,500 price tag attached to tasers was a disadvantage given the pressure on police budgets.
Police union ANPV supports the use of tasers and says it would save lives. In March police shot two men dead and both would have been saved if police had been equipped with tasers, the union said at the time.
Amnesty International has warned about the risks attached to tasers and called for more research. It says hundreds of people in the US have been killed by the devices.
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