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Taser use doubles

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Taser use in England and Wales has nearly quadrupled over just three years, Home Office figures have revealed.

The statistics saw a jump from total use in the first six months of 2009 of 1,267 to 4,041 in the second half of 2011.

Uptake in the police’s use of tasers, which incapacitate suspects with an electrical current, doubled from 2009 to 2010 before creeping up by a further fifth in 2011.

Government officials said the increase was a reflection of the pistol-like device’s rollout “following the successful trial of specially trained units”.

Three-quarters of the uses did not actually result in the suspect experiencing the electrical charge.

Half of the cases in which the weapon was deployed were classified as ‘red dot’, in which the taser is partially activated so the ‘subject’ sees a red dot placed on their body.

The overall balance of the different kinds of taser use did not change between 2010 and 2011, suggesting the way they are being used is not shifting.

Tasers were fired in 20% and 21% of the total cases respectively.

“Taser is a valuable tactical option for the police when they are faced with such severe violence or threats of violence that force is needed to protect the public, themselves or the individual concerned,” a spokesperson said.

“The Home Office and the police have rigorously tested Taser, including independent medical assessment.

“We are committed to providing the police with the necessary tools to do their job safely.”

 

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Law & Politics

Police Will Be Able To Read Everyone’s Internet Search History Under New Plan

UK Police are asking the government for new surveillance powers to be able to view the Internet search history of every single person in the country.

Richard Berry, the National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman told The Guardian that “We want to police by consent, and we want to ensure that privacy safeguards are in place. But we need to balance this with the needs of the vulnerable and the victims. We essentially need the ‘who, where, when and what’ of any communication – who initiated it, where were they and when did it happened. And a little bit of the ‘what’, were they on Facebook, or a banking site, or an illegal child-abuse image-sharing website?”

“Five years ago, [a suspect] could have physically walked into a bank and carried out a transaction. We could have put a surveillance team on that but now, most of it is done online. We just want to know about the visit,” he added.

It is likely that police are already looking at your online activity, but just want the power to do it legally. As we learned from whistleblower Edward Snowden, governments are very interested what their citizens are doing online, and they do have the technology to spy on every telephone call and Internet communication.

Police in the UK have been attempting to reach for these powers through legislation for years, but they have been blocked on multiple occasions. This new effort proves that they will not be giving up on getting legal permission for their spying programs.

MP David Davis told The Guardian “It’s extraordinary they’re asking for this again, they are overreaching and there is no proven need to retain such data for a year.”

Home Secretary Theresa May will announce the specifics of the plan during a meeting about the Government’s new surveillance bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

“I’ve said many times before that it is not possible to debate the balance between privacy and security, including the rights and wrongs of intrusive powers and the oversight arrangements that govern them without also considering the threats that we face as a country,” May said.

“They include not just terrorism from overseas and home-grown in the UK, but also industrial, military and state espionage.They include not just organized criminality, but also the proliferation of once physical crimes online, such as child sexual exploitation. And the technological challenges that that brings. In the face of such threats we have a duty to ensure that the agencies whose job it is to keep us safe have the powers they need to do the job,” she added.

 

daily alternative | alternative news -Police Will Be Able To Read Everyone’s Internet Search History Under New Plan

via Police Will Be Able To Read Everyone’s Internet Search History Under New Plan.

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