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Page last updated at 07:33 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 08:33 UK

Talks over police Taser supplies

Taser stun gun
Tasers use single-shot ammunition cartridges

A UK ministry says it is working with Guernsey to help ensure the island's police have stun gun supplies.

Police may have to abandon Tasers because the UK will not allow more guns or ammunition to be imported.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said stun guns could not be exported outside the European Union as they could be used for torture.

The UK Ministry of Justice said it was working to help Guernsey put arguments forward to appropriate UK ministers.

'Difficult predicament'

The Taser device fires two darts with a five-second 50,000-volt charge which temporarily disables a suspect.

Its ammunition comprises of a single-use cartridge which includes compressed air propellant for the two darts and the darts themselves. The cartridge has to be replaced every time the weapon is fired.

Guernsey's Home Department acquired its equipment in 2006. But as a Crown Dependency, the Channel Islands are not part of the UK.

They are also outside of the European Union, which is why the FCO has ruled that the island cannot buy more shock weapon supplies from the UK - or from another country because that would also require a licence from the UK authorities.

Guernsey Police said it was a "very difficult predicament" and Home Minister Geoff Mahy said he would write to the UK government asking if the islands could be looked at as a "special case".

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the relationship between the Crown Dependencies and the UK.

It said it was continuing to work with other UK departments to ensure the Channel Islands could put their arguments before appropriate ministers and have them fully considered.



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SEE ALSO
'Torture' law stops Taser supply
25 Aug 09 |  Guernsey
Police to use 50k volt stun guns
23 Jul 06 |  Guernsey

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