Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 20:02 UK

Taser ban threat to Canada police

Police restrain Mr Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport, 14 October 2007. Credit CBC
The use of a stun gun on a Polish immigrant was caught on camera

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are using stun guns too often and their use should be temporarily banned if levels are not curbed, a watchdog has said.

Its report, prompted by the death of a Polish immigrant stunned by police last year, said the guns should only be used against "combative" people.

It also recommended that officers seek immediate medical attention for people they shock with the devices.

There are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 stun guns available to Canadian police.

Public outrage

Paul Kennedy, who led the review by the police force's watchdog, the Commission for Public Complaints (CPC), called for "a more conservative use" of stun guns, also known as Tasers.

Mr Kennedy said that if the police could not account for the use of the weapon, or properly instruct officers on appropriate use, "then such use should be prohibited until prompt and strict accountability and training measures can be fully implemented".

The review was initiated after amateur video emerged showing Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers fire a stun gun at least twice at Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant, who died shortly afterwards.

Mr Dziekanski spoke no English and had become agitated after waiting in a secure area of the airport for 10 hours.

The police were heavily criticised for their treatment of Mr Dziekanski.

The police say that the guns allow an officer to subdue a violent individual without resorting to a lethal firearm.

taser diagram

Canada police pledge Taser change
19 Jun 08 |  Americas
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28 Nov 07 |  Americas
Canadian stun gun death on video
15 Nov 07 |  Americas

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