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Report reveals that tasered drawn on more than 400 children

FORMER LABOUR Home Secretary David Blunkett has voiced concerns over the use of taser guns after figures revealed that tasers were drawn on more than 431 children, some as young as 14, in 2013.

In a U-turn, Blunkett - who is responsible for the authorisation of the taser stun guns - called for a review on their use to address the alarming statistics.

The Home Office Taser database identified a 37 per cent increase in the figure compared with 313 incidents reported in 2012.

Tasers were drawn on children as young as 11, while the youngest to be fired with the 50,000-volt stun gun was 14-years-old. The numbers also showed the oldest person to be tasered was 82.

The figures became public through the Freedom of Information requests made by BBC Radio 5 Live.

Blunkett told the program that there was a great need for all the involved parties to “step back” and get to grips with the issue and he also insisted a need for alternative methods to dealing with problematic young people.

He said: "I think it's time for a review that incorporates the use of Tasers with advice and support on how to deal with difficult situations. For a youngster, 11-years-old, a Taser is not in my view an appropriate way of dealing with a situation which clearly must have been out of hand, but where we need to train people to use much more traditional alternatives."

Commander Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police added: "We have to remember that children can commit violent crime too. The police are paid to intervene in those situations and Taser can be an appropriate use of force. If that 14 year old is committing a violent act towards a member of the public or to an officer, or if they are self-harming, then our job is to make sure that that stops in the safest way possible. And in certain circumstances Taser is that option."

The number of cases including young people is of alarming concern and in response present Home Secretary Theresa May has reportedly called for a review of taser usage.

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