Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
1. How many individuals had conducted energy weapons (also known as electroshock weapons), for example TASERS, discharged against them in each the calendar years 2014-2017.
2. Based on data held on searchable electronic systems or databases concerning incidents where electroshock weapons were discharged, could you please tell me whether any of the individuals who had electroshock weapons discharged against them are recorded as having any of the following implantable medical devices: neurostimulator, brain electrode(s). deep brain stimulation, deep brain stimulators, spinal cord stimulator, spinal cord stimulation, spinal cord electrode(s).
3. Please provide me with a copy of any internal documents concerning the use of electroshock weapons against individuals with implantable medical devices such as pacemakers or implantable defibrillators, or advising of precautions that should be taken in the use of electroshock weapons in relation to medical devices.
4. Please similarly provide copies of any investigations, reports, technical evaluations, or assessments on this matter that are possessed or have been produced by your force.
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
2014 – 24
2015 – 26
2016 – 20
2017 – 28
2. No information held. We do not have a searchable system from where this information could extracted. Additionally this data would only be held if the information had been disclosed by the detainee.
3. As the information you have requested is accessible by other means I have not provided you with a copy of the information and will rely on Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You should therefore consider this a refusal for your request.
I have provided an explanation to this exemption below.
Section 21 (1) - Information accessible by other means
Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant is exempt information.
I refer you to the below link where this information can be sought.
4. No information held. There have been no such investigations, reports, technical evaluations or assessments carried out by Northumbria Police.
Police use of Conducted Energy Devices (and also Police use of lethal and less lethal tactical options) is governed by the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice. This document provides significant information on the application, use and aftercare of CED and is a source of frequent reference for the Police upon which to base training and instruction to its staff. As an open source document this can be accessed by any person seeking further detailed information.