Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 15:19 UK

First use of Taser stun gun in NI

Taser stun gun
It is the first time the weapon has been used in Northern Ireland

A Taser stun gun has been used by police in Londonderry for the first time in Northern Ireland.

It was used to subdue a father who had locked himself in a house in Galliagh with his two young children at about 0300 BST on Saturday.

Police said it was used "as an appropriate and tactical option to bring the matter to a safe conclusion".

A 37-year-old man was later arrested. The children were safely returned to a family member.

The man was detained under the Mental Health Act.

The Police Ombudsman is investigating the incident.

Taser guns fire two wires which attach to the body and carry an electric shock.

The police were given permission earlier this year to buy 12 Taser guns despite opposition from human rights groups and some members of the policing board.

The Foyle MP Mark Durkan said his party remain opposed to the use of Tasers.

"Doubtless the officers involved will be saying that, based on them using the means at their disposal, they went for the use of the Taser in this situation as appropriate.

"It'll be for the Police Ombudsman to decide that, but whatever is decided in this case, it does not make the SDLP any more comfortable about the wider use and deployment of Tasers," he said.

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