Police cleared over use of taser on Blackpool teen

Police in Blackpool acted reasonably in using a taser to detain a 17-year-old girl, investigators found.
Police in Blackpool acted reasonably in using a taser to detain a 17-year-old girl, investigators found.
  • An investigation was launched after police used a taser while arresting a 17-year-old girl in Blackpool
  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission found officers have “no case to answer”
  • The watchdog also found the officer in question should not have been carrying the taser because they were still in their two-year probation period
  • The girl reportedly became aggressive when police turned up to her home in November
  • Lancashire Police said it has acted on all the recommendations in the report
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Police who used a taser on an aggressive 17-year-old girl in Blackpool have “no case to answer”, an investigation has found.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said the officers’ response when arresting the girl last year was “proportionate”.

The IPCC investigator found no case to answer for misconduct against any officers who dealt with the girl in respect of their interaction with her at the flat and in custody.

IPCC commissioner Carl Gumsley

However, the watchdog adds in its report that the girl’s mother should have been contacted following the arrest.

Lancashire Police said it has acted on all the recommendations in the report.

Police were called to a disturbance at the 17-year-old’s home in Blackpool on November 5, where they found her acting aggressively and behaving in a threatening manner.

A taser was used to help detain her, which was a reasonable course of action in the circumstances, the IPCC said.

An NHS worker saw to the girl while she was in custody and was treated as her responsible adult by officers.

The watchdog ruled the 17-year-old was afforded an appropriate level of care while at Blackpool custody suite but by law a parent should have been contacted because of the girl’s age.

IPCC commissioner Carl Gumsley said: “The IPCC investigator found no case to answer for misconduct against any officers who dealt with the girl in respect of their interaction with her at the flat and in custody.

“However, the report made recommendations that Lancashire Constabulary should remind its custody officers of their obligations to inform a responsible adult of the arrest and detention of a 17 year old.

“It also recommended that the force should review whether they needed to provide specific guidance as to the provision of appropriate adults for children, and the need for such people to have sufficient independence from the force itself.”

The IPCC said a senior officer at Lancashire Constabulary gave words of advice to several custody officers following the incident.

The officer who deployed the taser was within the two-year probationary period and was prematurely trained and authorised for its use, the watchdog added.

College of Policing guidelines state that no probationary officers should be trained to use taser. The IPCC also recommended that Lancashire Constabulary reviews its current officers with taser training to ensure no officers that are in their probation are currently carrying the device.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We acknowledge the IPCC report and its findings and we have acted on all the recommendations.”