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Police 'justified' in shooting man with Taser during siege

The firearms officer discharged the device at the 32-year-old in a flat in Dundee during July.

Siege: Police officer fired a Taser at a man during stand-off.
Siege: Police officer fired a Taser at a man during stand-off. PA

A police officer firing a Taser at a man during a flat siege was "justified", a police watchdog has found.

The firearms officer discharged the device at the 32-year-old in a flat in Dundee after failed negotiations during a siege lasting four hours.

Armed police stormed the home and feared the man - who had earlier threatened to stab anyone who entered - was going to get a weapon.

One officer fired a taser at his back leaving him "incapacitated", enabling police to arrest him.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) investigated the incident as is standard procedure for police use of a firearm.

The report details that officers were first called to reports of a disturbance at the flat at 9.50pm on July 6.

The man refused to allow the police in to the flat and threatened to stab anyone who entered.

Police knew there were others in the flat and prevented anyone from going in or out while they began negotiations, unsuccessfully trying to persuade the man to leave.

When he stopped responding after several hours, officers became concerned and forced entry.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1433768-police-shooting-of-axe-wielding-woman-was-necessary/ | default

One officer believed the man was heading to the kitchen to get a weapon and to prevent this he shot a Taser at his back.

The report states: "When the armed officers forced entry to the flat, the man reacted in an aggressive and confrontational manner and refused to comply with the officer's instructions.

"Due to his response and actions, an officer perceived that it was the man's intention to enter the kitchen to retrieve a weapon.

"As a result, the officer discharged a Taser at him, striking him on the back.

This allowed other officers to arrest the man and remove any threat posed to the other people present and the officers.

"The use of the Taser in the circumstances was both necessary, proportionate and justified."

The man was arrested and later pleaded guilty to breach of the peace.

Chief superintendent Matt Richards said: "Every day our officers respond to incidents where they do not know what they'll be faced with and this is just one example of the type of dynamic incidents they regularly attend. They respond to these incidents swiftly and professionally in order to keep people safe.

"Their decisive and effective action on the day in question meant that the incident didn't escalate and any further threat to those within the flat was removed.

"Any action we take is carefully considered and will be proportionate, using the least amount of force possible in order to bring incidents to a safe conclusion and we welcome the independent report from the PIRC which highlights that their actions were justified and necessary."

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