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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Force to continue using stun guns
Firearms officers with Taser stun gun
The guns have not yet been used on suspects in the Thames Valley
Police are to continue using 'Taser' stun guns after a 12-month trial was successful, they say.

The guns have not been fired in anger since the trial started in the Thames Valley, but have acted as a deterrent, a police spokesman said.

The guns are designed to disable a suspect with an electric shock instead of using traditional firearms.

But some campaigners, including Amnesty International, say the guns should not become standard police issue.

Amnesty claim the weapons have not been independently tested and should be treated as a "lethal weapon".

The taser, which has been in use in the USA for over 20 years, fires two darts into the suspect using compressed air.

When the darts hit, this completes an electric circuit and a five-second 50,000-volt charge is released down the cable, causing the suspect's muscles to contract uncontrollably.

Police complete stun gun trials
19 Apr 04  |  Lincolnshire
'Stun gun' used on suspect
17 Dec 03  |  Northamptonshire
Police to start stun gun trials
10 Apr 03  |  Northamptonshire
How the stun gun works
01 Aug 01  |  UK News
Doctor backs police stun guns
11 Sep 01  |  Health
Police consider stun guns
01 Aug 01  |  UK News

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