This is an ESRC funded doctoral project conducted by Abi Dymond and supervised by Brian Rappert and Katharine Boyd. The project aims to use inter-disciplinary, mixed method research to enhance our understanding of the controversial electric-shock weapon the ‘Taser’ in UK policing, working alongside a range of stakeholders including various UK police forces, the NPCC and civil society.

More specifically, the research:

  • Uses binary logistic regression techniques to assess the association between the use of Taser, other less lethal weapons, and subject as well as officer injury rates — the first time such work has been conducted in England and Wales.
  • Uses multivariate analysis to look at factors associated with the use of the weapon in the UK, again the first time such analysis has been conducted in this jurisdiction.
  • Complements this with extensive qualitative work, including observation of Taser Lead Instructors Training and Taser training in 3 UK forces, ‘ride-alongs’ with Taser officers, and interviews with key stakeholders including Taser officers, Single Points of Contact and trainers, individuals subjected to Taser and their representatives, NGOs and oversight bodies, and senior officials.

This research provides a solid foundation to advance our understanding, to highlight good practice and areas where change, be it theoretical, methodological or practical, would be beneficial. Indeed, to date the research has resulted in a number of collaborative opportunities.

For details of publications arising from this work, please see the Outputs section of the project.