Taser! Taser! Problems Underlying the Police Mis-use of Electronic Stun Guns

Colin Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of Tasers, or electronic stun guns, in many western democratic style countries such as the UK and Australia, appears to be on the rise and often involves contentious circumstances that are reported in the media. In conjunction with other forms of state sanctioned force available to the police, the use of such devices rests within what is termed a continuum of force. Here an escalation of police force depends upon the resistance offered towards the police, or perceived levels of danger to other individuals. Notwithstanding the general right of the police to use coercive force, the misuse of such devices can have a detrimental impact upon police/community relations. This article explores the relationship between police and community with regard to the misuse of Taser, utilising examples from England and wales and Australia, and suggests this misuse or 'over- use' of devices can have a damaging effect upon police legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-29
JournalAustralasian Policing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2015


  • Stun guns
  • Law and legislation
  • Police equipment and supplies
  • gun control
  • Police attitudes
  • police evaluation


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