Police aimed Taser at 10-year-old boy in Bourne
Police aimed a Taser at a 10-year-old boy who was throwing lumps of glass from a rooftop, the Home Office has revealed.
The incident, which took place in Bourne in June 2012, was revealed after a Freedom of Information request.
The Home Office confirmed that the 10-year-old was “red-dotted”, meaning the Taser was aimed at him using the red dot targeting mechanism but not fired.
The boy was the youngest person in the country to be subjected to a Taser during 2012 and 2013.
Inspector Mark Garthwaite, who oversees Taser use for Lincolnshire Police, said: “The boy had previously assaulted members of his family and police officers and was again acting violently.”
Insp Garthwaite said the boy was on a “low roof” presenting a challenge in terms of approaching him, and was “throwing quite large lumps of glass at the public and the police”.
After officers pointed the Taser at him using the red dot targeting mechanism, the boy stopped, he said.
“Nobody was hurt, including the young man,” the inspector said. “It was all solved very easily and calmly.”
He stressed that officers are trained to assess the impact the Taser may have on an individual’s health, based on such factors as age and build, but this has to be balanced with the level of threat on show.
Any use of a Taser, even if it’s just drawn, is scrutinised to make sure it is “lawful and justifiable”.
“It is very strictly monitored,”said Insp Garthwaite.
The Freedom of Information request, submitted by the BBC, found Lincolnshire Police had drawn or aimed Tasers against two 13-year-olds, one 14-year-old, two 15-year-olds and five 17-year-olds in 2012 and 2013. Tasers were fired by officers at one 15-year-old and one 17-year-old.
The oldest person to be subjected to the use of a Taser by Lincolnshire Police in 2012 and 2013 was aged 78. They had the device fired at them. This was the second oldest person to have had a Taser fired on them in England and Wales in 2012 and 2013 according to the data.
The youngest person targeted with a Taser by Leicestershire Police was 18. The data did not specify incidents that took place in Rutland.
Some of the ages may be police estimates.