Tasers are used most often on the drunk and mentally ill

Tasers are used most often on the drunk and mentally ill

New figures reported today in The Daily Telegraph reveal that Tasers are most likely to be drawn in NSW on the drunk or mentally ill – despite the fact that these are the people Taser International says are most likely to experience an adverse reaction the the guns.

Taser International safety guidelines say that if a person is exhibiting signs or behaviours that are associated with “Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome” (such as extreme agitation, bizarre behavior, inappropriate nudity, imperviousness to pain, paranoia, exhaustive exertion) then police should still Taser them, but should consider getting them extra medical help.

- Now, despite the fact that “sudden in-custody death syndrome” sounds like an extremely convenient “sydrome” to emerge – if these people are at a higher risk of death to the normal population should we really be encouraging police to electrocute them? -

Overall, The Daily Telegraph says, police in NSW are drawing their Tasers more than once each day – although the guns are often used as a threat rather than being used to shoot the person.

About the Author

Amy is a Sydney-based journalist and commentator with an interest in politics, music, culture and evidence-based medicine. She is currently working as a medical journalist for a series of "Specialist Update" websites, and she has also been published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Crikey, New Matilda, and Vibewire's anthology "Interface". She was a panelist with the Sydney Writers' Festival in 2007 and 2008, organised the Sydney Writers' Festival event "erotic fan fiction" in 2009, and is a regular broadcaster on FBi radio.