Two specialist police officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing after they tasered a man during a call in Orkney.
Officers were called to a house on February 21 this year, and were faced with a “violent man brandishing a metal pole and knife”.
Before their arrival, the 22-year-old had made numerous 999 calls and, while shouting and swearing, told the call handler he wanted to stab police officers.
This continued when the team arrived at the scene, and when he ran at one officer – while reaching a knife – he was tasered.
Man was ‘well-known’ to emergency services
Now the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has concluded their action was “necessary, proportionate and justified” – noting the man had a history of violence towards officers.
Their report states: “The man had a history of self-harming, mental health issues and criminal conduct including the use of weapons and violence towards police officers, resulting in him being well-known to the police and emergency services in Orkney.
“When the man left his home he made a sudden lunge towards an officer while reaching for a knife sheath in his trouser waistband. The officers discharged their tasers and the man was arrested.
“In the circumstances, the use of taser was necessary, proportionate and justified.”
The man was later jailed.
Incidents are ‘rare’ but officers equipped to stay safe
Chief Inspector Ali Garrow, Orkney’s area commander, welcomed the findings of the report published today.
“Officers were faced with a violent and dangerous man who was in the process of trying to attack them, and their prompt action managed to stop him and bring a dangerous situation to a safe conclusion,” he said.
“I am pleased that PIRC has found that their actions in using a taser were appropriate and proportionate in the circumstances, and the man was subsequently arrested and later sentenced at court.
“Thankfully our officers are not often confronted with situations like this in Orkney, but when they are it is reassuring to know that they have the right equipment to keep themselves and others safe.”