NORTH Wales Police used Tasers more than 100 times last year – but their use has still fallen.

Trained officers across North Wales drew their Tasers 130 times in 2018-19, new Home Office statistics show, but during these incidents the devices, which deliver short pulses of electricity into the body rendering muscles to contract, were discharged on just 15 occasions.

They were mainly used to deter suspects as data shows that in 67 cases officers aimed and partially activated the Taser – so a red target dot appeared on them – but this is still logged as being used in the total figures of Taser usage.

Earlier in the year, Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said: “It is often the case that just having a Taser officer present can diffuse a threatening situation without them actually having to use it or get involved in a physical confrontation.

“The use of Taser means my officers will be better equipped to protect the public and themselves whilst also removing pressure from our firearms officers and ensuring we can respond more quickly and effectively with the appropriate resources.”

With the Home Office providing funding for an additional 10,000 officers to carry the weapons, police chiefs and representatives for officers insist Tasers are effective at de-escalating dangerous situations.

UK police forces first trialled Tasers in 2003, with a full roll-out completed a decade later. Officers must decide whether using a Taser is legal, proportionate and necessary in a situation.

Forces across England and Wales discharged the devices on 2,700 occasions in 2018-19, the highest annual number recorded.

During the 2018-19 recording period the devices were unholstered in 23,500 incidents nationally and, in most cases, aimed at suspects without being discharged – up almost two fifths from the previous year at 39 per cent.

The Home Office says the rise may reflect police forces dealing with "more incidents with the potential for conflict", or growing numbers of "CED-trained officers and CEDs available".

Police Federation vice-chair Ché Donald said: "With the Government and an increased number of chief constables backing a wider roll-out of Taser, it is unsurprising there were more incidents where this tactical option was selected.

"But, the fact that the figure for instances where the Taser was drawn but not discharged remains so constant reaffirms how effective it can be in de-escalating situations. The red dot alone continues to be enough to diffuse the vast majority of incidents without the need to pull the trigger."