POLICE have been trained to user Taser stun guns in the borough for the first time to help in their fight against crime.
Forty officers from Hammersmith and Fulham’s emergency response team - which attends 999 calls - have been trained to use the 50,000-volt Tasers to detain violent suspects.
The teams came into force on May 5.
Hammersmith and Fulham’s Operations Chief Inspector, Rod Charles, said: “This will assist officers responding to violent or otherwise dangerous criminals. Tasers increase the range of tactical options to deal with this type of behaviour.
“Only officers specially trained and having passed a rigorous training course will use Tasers. All other officers will be familiarised with tactical options around the use of Taser.”
The Metropolitan Police hopes to more than double the number of Tasers across the capital, up to 1,300 by the end of the summer, at a cost of more than £800,000 a year.
The yellow pistol-shaped weapon fires wire prongs carrying 50,000 volts of electricity to incapacitate a suspect.
Previously, only dedicated firearms officers were permitted to use the device.
The Metropolitan Police Authority, before its abolition, opposed the wider roll out of Tasers to non-firearms officers because of concerns that they could weaken public confidence in the police.
Jenny Jones, Green Party GLA assembly member, said: “Last October police in Lancashire Tasered a 61-year-old blind man after mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword.
“That case, along with many others, shows the problems of the widespread adoption of Tasers. I fear the roll out will increase the risk of mistakes happening in London, making people less safe.”
The police watchdog was last week investigating the death of a Plymouth man who was shot with a Taser while dowsed in a flammable liquid.
A man carrying a knife near Downing Street and another man brandishing two blades outside Buckingham Palace were both detained with stun guns in separate incidents earlier this year.