Unfortunately, complaints against police officers’ misconduct have increased over the past few years.
In 2011, police complaints totalled to around 30,143. In 2020-2021, this number significantly increased to more than 67,700. Even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the complaints about the police from the public stayed significantly high. One such incident happened last year, when a 10-year-old girl was tasered by a police officer in Southwest London.
Police officers rushed to a Southwest London private estate after receiving reports of a young girl who was allegedly threatening her mother. She had garden shears and a hammer with her. A police officer asked the girl to drop the weapon and when she didn’t, he tasered her.
The 10-year-old girl became the youngest in the UK to have been shot by a taser gun. This prompted several authorities to assess and investigate the officer for alleged misconduct. The Metropolitan Police, the Crown Protection Service, and the IOPC all conducted their own investigation of the incident.
The Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service did not find anything significantly wrong with the officer’s actions. However, after the family complained, the case went to the IOPC or (Independent Office for Police Conduct, which did its own investigation of the incident. After concluding the investigation, the IOPC ruled that the police officer should face for gross misconduct proceedings. This decision was handed down in early February this year.
A representative from the IOPC said that after the investigation, that the Met police officer has been handed a gross misconduct case due to the officer employing a taser gun on a 10-year-old girl. The decision was focused on the police officer’s use of excessive force. The Metropolitan Police said a misconduct hearing will soon commence, but the date has yet to be finalised.
The police officer is currently on restricted duties. Additionally, after the Crown Prosecution Service came out with its assessment, it was decided that the officer will not be facing criminal charges. The CPS no longer pursued additional action.
The number of police officers who fired their weapons or devices has steadily risen in the past three years. In 2021, they tasered an 87-year-old pensioner, while also using the weapon to children as young as 10-year-old. A young boy in Gloucestershire was tasered after police officers saw him approaching them. They stated that they had reason to believe that the boy was carrying a big knife.
Taser Gun Effects
Taser guns are used by the UK police as a non-lethal way of disabling a potential criminal. It is an electroshock weapon that fires two small barbed darts intended to puncture the skin and remain attached as an electric current is passed through them.
The effects are localised, but can be very painful, and can cause strong involuntary muscle contractions. They are also not completely risk-free, with 49 people dying in 2018 after being shocked by the police.
According to the National Police Chiefs’ Council, using taser guns on young offenders is often necessary because despite their age, due to young offenders being capable of committing violent crimes. The Children’s Rights Alliance for England disagrees, as it believes tasers can cause intolerable pain, and the use of them therefore must be stopped.
Additionally, a former Met Police detective said that using tasers against children, particularly the case of the 10-year-old girl in Southwest London, is disturbing and extremely rare.
Three years ago, in 2019, there were approximately 22,059 incidents where police officers drew their taser guns. Of these, 29 were made against children and the elderly.
Complaining about police misconduct
The 10-year-old girl’s family complained against the police officer and you can do the same if something similar happens to you. Here’s what you need to do to complain about police misconduct:
1. First of all, you need to verify that your reason for complaining is valid. The most common (and accepted) reasons for filing a police conduct complaint are:
- If the police officer treated you unjustly
- If the police officer violated your rights
- If the police officer did not adhere to proper procedures and policies
- If the police officer abused their powers
- If the police officer discriminated you
- If the police officer used excessive force
- If the police officer’s actions affect you negatively, even if the action was not directed at you
2. File your complaint directly to the police station. You can do this in person or by filling up a virtual complaint form. The form is available on the website of your police station or through the IOPC’s website.
You can send the form to the police station involved in your complaint, or to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
3. If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can get in touch with an expert panel of Actions Against The Police solicitors who can help you with your complaint. This involves suing the police for misconduct, and the claimant is awarded compensation if successful.
Filing a Police Taser Compensation Claim
Filing a complaint or claim against a police officer can be challenging. While you do not need a solicitor to bring a claim forward, understanding the process and the case building can be daunting.
If you believe you have been a victim of police misconduct, or a police officer has used a taser on you or a loved one, get in touch with the expert panel of police solicitors at ClaimExperts.co.uk; our panel know how to get the justice you deserve and they will guide you every step of the way.
To discover your claim eligibility, use our easy form below.
ClaimExperts.co.uk - We Are Here to Help You
Our mission is to provide comprehensive claim guides for multiple claims, and connect you with expert legal firms.
Our Most Popular Claim Guides
Fairweather Group Ltd t/a ClaimExperts.co.uk do not give legal advice. You do not need to use a claims management company to make a claim. You have the right to use the relevant Ombudsman to seek redress for free. More information on your particular Ombudsman can be found on our Terms & Conditions. You can also seek legal advice elsewhere.
The No Win No Fee Success Fee is based on which expert panel member we refer you to and is payable to them. Our panel currently consists of a number of law firms, which can also be found on our Terms & Conditions. The No Win, No Fee varies, but is generally between 25%- 50%+VAT.
There may be a termination fee if you cancel your claim with a panel member after the cooling-off period. We are paid a referral fee by our panel members for a successful introduction. Fairweather Group Ltd will not charge you for our service.