Police tasering of man who fell off Worcester roof was "very dangerous"

Police tasering of man who fell of Worcester roof was

Police tasering of man who fell of Worcester roof was "very dangerous"

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POLICE actions to Taser a man who then fell off a roof in Worcester were "potentially very dangerous" says a police watchdog.

The man, who had a hammer and a knife, fell from an 8ft-high porch roof when he was Tasered, actions criticised as a "potentially very dangerous and completely inappropriate" use of the weapon.

Officers sought to detain the man under the Mental Health Act as he had a knife and a hammer and was threatening to harm himself.

West Merica Police were called to an address in Warndon, Worcester where a 44-year-old man was on a relative's roof causing damage including dropping roof tiles at around lunchtime on Friday, August 10, 2012.

Officers were unable to persuade him to come down and after an hour, they obtained authority to Taser him, although a trained negotiator had been called. As a result of the Taser, he fell from the roof and suffered minor injuries.

The force referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and an independent investigation by the IPCC concluded in September last year.

IPCC deputy chairwoman Rachel Cerfontyne said: "To use a Taser in these circumstances was potentially very dangerous and completely inappropriate.

"The man was not posing any threat to others and was engaging with officers. It is hard to understand why the officers did not wait for the negotiator.

"He was clearly distressed and in my view it was wrong to use force against him while the option of persuading him to come down safely remained open."

The independent investigation found that a police inspector and sergeant both had a case to answer for misconduct as they had not fully considered the risks in authorising the use of the Taser and not waiting for a negotiator to arrive. Both West Mercia Police and the IPCC declined to name the two officers although both have been given "management advice" since the incident.

At a misconduct meeting on March 12, findings for misconduct were upheld against the inspector and sergeant relating to the discharging of their duties and responsibilities.

There has been a significant rise in referrals about Taser use to the IPCC, from 99 in 2010 to 154 in 2013, although this is in part down to continued rollout of the weapon across forces in England.

Yesterday, a police officer was asked to apologise to a blind man he shot with a Taser when he mistook his white stick for a samurai sword.

Colin Farmer, 64, was hit with the stun gun in Chorley, Lancashire, by Pc Stuart Wright in October 2012 as he walked to his local pub.

The IPCC has also carried out a review of Taser use which will be published shortly.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police said: "Since the misconduct hearing on March 12, 2014 one of the officers has chosen to appeal the finding of misconduct and the decision to give them management advice.

"Therefore we feel it is inappropriate for us to comment further at this time because the findings in this case could yet change. Once this situation has been resolved, we will be able to give West Mercia's position on this case."

Comments (19)

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2:49pm Thu 27 Mar 14

MJI says...

Serves him right
Serves him right MJI
  • Score: -22

6:01pm Thu 27 Mar 14

dropkick55 says...

Sounds about right for incompetent Worcester police!
Sounds about right for incompetent Worcester police! dropkick55
  • Score: 6

7:06pm Thu 27 Mar 14

reflector says...

It's easy for the deputy chairwoman of the IPCC to be critical but I don't suppose she has had to face an unpredictable mental patient on a roof and armed with a hammer and knife. To make a judgement on the actions of others from the safety of her office without bearing the responsibility that others face when dealing with such matters seems very unfair.

Officers confronted with such situations have to make snap decisions in the best interest and safety of the patient, the general public and themselves and it's inevitible trhat sometimes they might make the wrong call. They should be congratulated for being brave enough to deal with the situation, something that I dare say not many of us would be prepared to do.
It's easy for the deputy chairwoman of the IPCC to be critical but I don't suppose she has had to face an unpredictable mental patient on a roof and armed with a hammer and knife. To make a judgement on the actions of others from the safety of her office without bearing the responsibility that others face when dealing with such matters seems very unfair. Officers confronted with such situations have to make snap decisions in the best interest and safety of the patient, the general public and themselves and it's inevitible trhat sometimes they might make the wrong call. They should be congratulated for being brave enough to deal with the situation, something that I dare say not many of us would be prepared to do. reflector
  • Score: 16

11:05pm Thu 27 Mar 14

voledog says...

reflector wrote:
It's easy for the deputy chairwoman of the IPCC to be critical but I don't suppose she has had to face an unpredictable mental patient on a roof and armed with a hammer and knife. To make a judgement on the actions of others from the safety of her office without bearing the responsibility that others face when dealing with such matters seems very unfair.

Officers confronted with such situations have to make snap decisions in the best interest and safety of the patient, the general public and themselves and it's inevitible trhat sometimes they might make the wrong call. They should be congratulated for being brave enough to deal with the situation, something that I dare say not many of us would be prepared to do.
It's even easier for people with absolutely no expertise to be critical on a newspaper website of experts who had all the facts in front of them to inform their decisions.
There is nothing particularly brave about firing high voltage electric charges into mentally unstable people in precarious situations when they are of no threat to anyone. This wasn't a case of the police making a 'wrong call', they acted negligently in ignoring their own rules and training procedures and showed total disregard for someone's safety.
[quote][p][bold]reflector[/bold] wrote: It's easy for the deputy chairwoman of the IPCC to be critical but I don't suppose she has had to face an unpredictable mental patient on a roof and armed with a hammer and knife. To make a judgement on the actions of others from the safety of her office without bearing the responsibility that others face when dealing with such matters seems very unfair. Officers confronted with such situations have to make snap decisions in the best interest and safety of the patient, the general public and themselves and it's inevitible trhat sometimes they might make the wrong call. They should be congratulated for being brave enough to deal with the situation, something that I dare say not many of us would be prepared to do.[/p][/quote]It's even easier for people with absolutely no expertise to be critical on a newspaper website of experts who had all the facts in front of them to inform their decisions. There is nothing particularly brave about firing high voltage electric charges into mentally unstable people in precarious situations when they are of no threat to anyone. This wasn't a case of the police making a 'wrong call', they acted negligently in ignoring their own rules and training procedures and showed total disregard for someone's safety. voledog
  • Score: -18

8:46am Fri 28 Mar 14

green49 says...

Did this man have a note on his forehead, dont taser me i have a mental health problem, i know for fact this man has that problem but there comes a time when in that situation he was a danger to everyone including himself, it was a pity he had to tasered but sometimes an action has to be done, even if it does not suit the do gooders who know nothing and do NO GOOD.
Did this man have a note on his forehead, dont taser me i have a mental health problem, i know for fact this man has that problem but there comes a time when in that situation he was a danger to everyone including himself, it was a pity he had to tasered but sometimes an action has to be done, even if it does not suit the do gooders who know nothing and do NO GOOD. green49
  • Score: 1

9:25am Fri 28 Mar 14

scott.hannaford says...

Police 1
idiot ar5ehole 0

lovely!
Police 1 idiot ar5ehole 0 lovely! scott.hannaford
  • Score: -4

9:51am Fri 28 Mar 14

CJH says...

dropkick55 wrote:
Sounds about right for incompetent Worcester police!
I suspect that is they HADN'T tasered him you would have made the same moronic statement.
[quote][p][bold]dropkick55[/bold] wrote: Sounds about right for incompetent Worcester police![/p][/quote]I suspect that is they HADN'T tasered him you would have made the same moronic statement. CJH
  • Score: 11

10:20am Fri 28 Mar 14

keepumpeeled says...

Silly boy should stay off the pop!
Silly boy should stay off the pop! keepumpeeled
  • Score: -6

11:46am Fri 28 Mar 14

canuck7 says...

keepumpeeled wrote:
Silly boy should stay off the pop!
who,, the cop or the "bad boy"??
[quote][p][bold]keepumpeeled[/bold] wrote: Silly boy should stay off the pop![/p][/quote]who,, the cop or the "bad boy"?? canuck7
  • Score: 6

11:48am Fri 28 Mar 14

canuck7 says...

scott.hannaford wrote:
Police 1
idiot ar5ehole 0

lovely!
WHO?? the cop or "bad boy"?? or are we just "supposed to know?...
[quote][p][bold]scott.hannaford[/bold] wrote: Police 1 idiot ar5ehole 0 lovely![/p][/quote]WHO?? the cop or "bad boy"?? or are we just "supposed to know?... canuck7
  • Score: 4

11:58am Fri 28 Mar 14

canuck7 says...

OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? . Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on
OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? [i don't say that lightly and have GOOD reason for saving so.]. Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on canuck7
  • Score: 1

2:44pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Mr A Mazing says...

Whilst I am not in the 'he deserved it' camp, I can appreciate that a male with mental health problems armed with a knife and a hammer is unpredictable and potentially very dangerous both to himself and to others.
Of course tasers can kill, but rarely do, and in this instance a decision was made to use one and fortunately the bloke only suffered minor injuries.
If he hadn't been 8ft up in the air we wouldn't even be reading this-it would be a non-story.
Whilst I am not in the 'he deserved it' camp, I can appreciate that a male with mental health problems armed with a knife and a hammer is unpredictable and potentially very dangerous both to himself and to others. Of course tasers can kill, but rarely do, and in this instance a decision was made to use one and fortunately the bloke only suffered minor injuries. If he hadn't been 8ft up in the air we wouldn't even be reading this-it would be a non-story. Mr A Mazing
  • Score: 5

6:09pm Fri 28 Mar 14

DarrenM says...

Its slightly ludicrous that they had to refer it to an independent body find out that zapping someone stood a roof with a high voltage shock is ""potentially very dangerous"

And as for "Officers confronted with such situations have to make snap decisions in the best interest and safety of the patient, the general public and themselves"

Total nonsense, it wasn't a snap decision, it even says in the article that they waited an hour.

Apparently they can close the M5 for 2 days for some guy who's only threatening to jump off a bridge, but some bloke who is actually is mentally unstable and actually on a roof its an hour then "zzzzappp"

Presumably their much vaunted Health and Safety and Dynamic Risk Assessments, that usually prevent them from offering assistance to the public decided that it was completely safe in this instance!

On another note it now appears nationally they're zapping 28 people a day ! A Far cry from the limited use by trained firearms officers only that the public were fobbed off with when these were originally introduced. Perhaps its time they were banned from using them.
Its slightly ludicrous that they had to refer it to an independent body find out that zapping someone stood a roof with a high voltage shock is ""potentially very dangerous" And as for "Officers confronted with such situations have to make snap decisions in the best interest and safety of the patient, the general public and themselves" Total nonsense, it wasn't a snap decision, it even says in the article that they waited an hour. Apparently they can close the M5 for 2 days for some guy who's only threatening to jump off a bridge, but some bloke who is actually is mentally unstable and actually on a roof its an hour then "zzzzappp" Presumably their much vaunted Health and Safety and Dynamic Risk Assessments, that usually prevent them from offering assistance to the public decided that it was completely safe in this instance! On another note it now appears nationally they're zapping 28 people a day ! A Far cry from the limited use by trained firearms officers only that the public were fobbed off with when these were originally introduced. Perhaps its time they were banned from using them. DarrenM
  • Score: 7

6:58pm Fri 28 Mar 14

liketoknow says...

canuck7 wrote:
OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? . Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on
tasers can kill! so can hammers and knives; I suggest a mentally deranged person with weapons of that calibre would be a frightening proposition for anyone. what if they had 'waited' for the negotiator and this man had decided to go off and bury his hammer in someone's skull. guess what we would be saying then.
[quote][p][bold]canuck7[/bold] wrote: OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? [i don't say that lightly and have GOOD reason for saving so.]. Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on[/p][/quote]tasers can kill! so can hammers and knives; I suggest a mentally deranged person with weapons of that calibre would be a frightening proposition for anyone. what if they had 'waited' for the negotiator and this man had decided to go off and bury his hammer in someone's skull. guess what we would be saying then. liketoknow
  • Score: -1

12:17am Sat 29 Mar 14

themooman says...

Did they 'charge' him?
Did they 'charge' him? themooman
  • Score: 3

11:32am Sat 29 Mar 14

canuck7 says...

liketoknow wrote:
canuck7 wrote:
OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? . Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on
tasers can kill! so can hammers and knives; I suggest a mentally deranged person with weapons of that calibre would be a frightening proposition for anyone. what if they had 'waited' for the negotiator and this man had decided to go off and bury his hammer in someone's skull. guess what we would be saying then.
uh ho.... i'd rather go with the "official report" that- "The man was not posing any threat to others and was engaging with the officers" . ..?
being as he was 8ft up in the air on a roof would have made a decision by him to "go off" anf bury him hammer in someones head a tad difficult. unless he is quite gymnastic. i suggest the risk to others was contained.If he had then made any move to harm himself with said knife or hammer then yes taser him.or to jump off the roof of course. hey.. who needs negotiators?
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]canuck7[/bold] wrote: OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? [i don't say that lightly and have GOOD reason for saving so.]. Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on[/p][/quote]tasers can kill! so can hammers and knives; I suggest a mentally deranged person with weapons of that calibre would be a frightening proposition for anyone. what if they had 'waited' for the negotiator and this man had decided to go off and bury his hammer in someone's skull. guess what we would be saying then.[/p][/quote]uh ho.... i'd rather go with the "official report" that- "The man was not posing any threat to others and was engaging with the officers" . ..? being as he was 8ft up in the air on a roof would have made a decision by him to "go off" anf bury him hammer in someones head a tad difficult. unless he is quite gymnastic. i suggest the risk to others was contained.If he had then made any move to harm himself with said knife or hammer then yes taser him.or to jump off the roof of course. hey.. who needs negotiators? canuck7
  • Score: 4

12:05pm Sat 29 Mar 14

canuck7 says...

themooman wrote:
Did they 'charge' him?
yes i'm sure he got their double whammy!!.
[quote][p][bold]themooman[/bold] wrote: Did they 'charge' him?[/p][/quote]yes i'm sure he got their double whammy!!. canuck7
  • Score: 5

12:05pm Sat 29 Mar 14

canuck7 says...

themooman wrote:
Did they 'charge' him?
yes i'm sure he got their double whammy!!.
[quote][p][bold]themooman[/bold] wrote: Did they 'charge' him?[/p][/quote]yes i'm sure he got their double whammy!!. canuck7
  • Score: 0

11:20am Tue 1 Apr 14

liketoknow says...

canuck7 wrote:
liketoknow wrote:
canuck7 wrote:
OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? . Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on
tasers can kill! so can hammers and knives; I suggest a mentally deranged person with weapons of that calibre would be a frightening proposition for anyone. what if they had 'waited' for the negotiator and this man had decided to go off and bury his hammer in someone's skull. guess what we would be saying then.
uh ho.... i'd rather go with the "official report" that- "The man was not posing any threat to others and was engaging with the officers" . ..?
being as he was 8ft up in the air on a roof would have made a decision by him to "go off" anf bury him hammer in someones head a tad difficult. unless he is quite gymnastic. i suggest the risk to others was contained.If he had then made any move to harm himself with said knife or hammer then yes taser him.or to jump off the roof of course. hey.. who needs negotiators?
think your missing the point. he was 'mentally unstable'. probably thinking irrationally, therefore quite capable of doing strange things . I'm more concerned with the fact that they had to 'wait' for a negotiator.
[quote][p][bold]canuck7[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]canuck7[/bold] wrote: OK, what i am noticing here again is a self righteous, callous and hart hearted attitude to the guy who was tasered. i'll unfortunately have to state the obvious here- tasers CAN KILL. heart attack jobby from thousands of volts coursing through you... ok the cops made a call made on the guys safely , did they?? really. how do we know they were'nt getting frustrated cuz they wanted to go off shift?? [i don't say that lightly and have GOOD reason for saving so.]. Taser trigger happy today, well what if the UK police gets regular firearms like canada'usa? oh.. sorry, i was thinking in the patients best interests but i blew him away. lastly- for now- all the many positive scores on here supporting these cops and negative scores against the "bay boy" i can't help wondering who they are all from ?? localized cops or just harsh members of the public?. WHOEVER you are on here try and remember that anyone can have their life turned upside down and suffer a breakdown. end of rant and haters -bring it on[/p][/quote]tasers can kill! so can hammers and knives; I suggest a mentally deranged person with weapons of that calibre would be a frightening proposition for anyone. what if they had 'waited' for the negotiator and this man had decided to go off and bury his hammer in someone's skull. guess what we would be saying then.[/p][/quote]uh ho.... i'd rather go with the "official report" that- "The man was not posing any threat to others and was engaging with the officers" . ..? being as he was 8ft up in the air on a roof would have made a decision by him to "go off" anf bury him hammer in someones head a tad difficult. unless he is quite gymnastic. i suggest the risk to others was contained.If he had then made any move to harm himself with said knife or hammer then yes taser him.or to jump off the roof of course. hey.. who needs negotiators?[/p][/quote]think your missing the point. he was 'mentally unstable'. probably thinking irrationally, therefore quite capable of doing strange things . I'm more concerned with the fact that they had to 'wait' for a negotiator. liketoknow
  • Score: 1

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