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Taser Usage by Ethnicity, Gender and Age

Date of request: June 9, 2020
Reference: 569/20

Request

  1. How many times was a conducted energy device (e.g. Taser) deployed against children aged 11-17 and against those aged 0-11, during each month to date in 2018, 2019 and 2020, broken down by race, gender and age bracket and of course by each month in question.
  2. How many times was Taser deployed against adults during each
    month to date in 2018, 2019 and 2020, broken down by race, gender and age bracket and of course by each month in question.
  3. Please break this down by the level of force used in each incident (arced, drive stun, aimed, drawn, fired, and red dotted) during each month to date in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Response

We have interpreted your request to mean you would like the data on Taser usage broken down by month for 2018, 2019 and 2020. You would also like this to be broken down by age, gender, ethnicity and Taser usage.

Please find the information attached. Please note, this information is recorded in financial years and we have therefore provided 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and April and May 2020 data.

We have found one recorded incident of a Taser being used against someone aged between 0-11 in financial years 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20 and between April – May 2020. This information is recorded incorrectly as the person in question was never identified. As an accurate date of birth was not identified, it was incorrectly logged as the date the incident occurred. This person was described as being “approximately between the ages of 18 and 22”.

Please be aware that the information provided has been broken down so the identity of persons involved cannot be identified. To provide all information together would attract a section 40(2) exemption due to the disclosure of third party personal data. This exemption is absolute and therefore a public interest test is not required. Any information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act if it relates to or is supplied by another individual and disclosure of that information would contravene any of the data protection principles set out in:

(a) Article 5(1) of the GDPR, and

(b) section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018;

To provide all information together may have severe consequences. For example, a person may be able to identify if the figure related to them.

In addition the information is also exempt by virtue of section 44(1)(a), prohibitions on disclosure. This section states than any information is exempt from disclosure if it is in contravention of any other enactment. The Children Act 2004 states that all persons have a responsibility to safeguard children. As this request is regarding children, Avon and Somerset Constabulary have a duty to protect their anonymity. As above this is also an absolute and class based exemption therefore no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test.

Any safeguarding concerns identified regarding children will be referred to the relevant teams/departments in order to protect any vulnerable children.

Please find further Taser information including detailed definitions on our website here.

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