Forces may be told what share of the Government’s £10 million extra cash for Taser they will receive as early as next month, the Home Office has revealed.

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) can from today bid for a share of the ring-fenced funding which it is hoped will give 10,000 more officers Taser.

“This is good news, not just for police officers and the wider police service, but also the public as it shows the Government is acting on its pledges to re-invest in policing,” says Liz Groom, chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation.

“For many years now, the Police Federation has been calling for extra central funding for training and equipping officers with Taser since chief officers have wanted to give increased access to these devices but have struggled to find the money required due to the Government budget cuts.

“Here in Cambridgeshire, we are aware that more of our colleagues want to be able to carry Taser. In April 2018, the Federation released the findings of its latest member survey on routine arming which showed that though only a third of Cambridgeshire respondents were in favour of all officers being armed at all times while on duty almost three quarters (71 per cent) wanted to always have access to Taser.

“At this time, only around a quarter (26 per cent) of Cambridgeshire respondents, for whom it was applicable to their role, had access to Taser at all times while on duty. We have seen an uplift since then but we are still not in position where all those officers who want to be trained and then carry Taser have actually been able to do so.

“I am pleased that the Government, having announced before the General Election that it would invest in a roll-out of Taser, has now acted quickly to allow forces to access these funds.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel, in opening the bidding process, said: “Our brave police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and I am committed to giving them the tools they need to keep themselves and the public safe.

“The rise in assaults on officers is appalling which is why I am providing funding to equip up to 10,000 more officers with Taser - an important tactical option when facing potentially physically violent situations.”

The application process will involve PCCs outlining how many extra officers they plan to train to use Taser and then bidding via an online platform with their requests being based on the threat and risk in their local area.

The Home Office has said the final funding allocations for forces, which cover 2019/20 and 2020/21, will be announced as soon as February.

The Home Office has said the final funding allocations for forces, which cover 2019/20 and 2020/21, will be announced as soon as February.