PCA supports the TTPS use of tasers
Having made the recommendation on the use of non-lethal weapons, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) approves of the decision of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) on the implementation of non-lethal weapons.
The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions¹ summarized four (4) general principles that must govern use of force. One principle, Necessity states: “Law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duty, shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms. They may use force and firearms only if other means remain ineffective or without any promise of achieving the intended result.”
At present in Trinidad and Tobago, when facing levels of threat a police officer only has the use of a firearm in defending himself against aggressive / violent offenders. Therefore, the introduction of tasers into the TTPS serves to fill the operational gap once the necessary policies and regulations are also implemented to safeguard against any excessive use of force.
The PCA supports the implementation of tasers and hopes that all TTPS officers will eventually carry tasers. The PCA is of the view that the use of tasers will improve the levels of accountability in the conduct of police operations as a non-lethal option to officers of the TTPS.