Man alleges police shot him in head with Taser

Guardian | August 31, 2009

A police watchdog is investigating claims that officers used a Taser stun gun on a man's head during an arrest.

A 45-year-old man, from Briton Ferry in Neath, South Wales, complained of being assaulted by police during his arrest on 15 August, in which he claims South Wales police officers used a Taser on his head. He was taken to hospital for treatment and received stitches for facial injuries.

Police had been called out in response to reports of a man causing criminal damage with a crowbar. The man was held on suspicion of racially aggravated criminal damage and released on bail.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the police watchdog, confirmed that it was investigating. "The man, from the Briton Ferry area of Neath, has also complained that when he was arrested a Taser was deployed and hit his head," an IPCC statement said today.

"He was taken to hospital where he received 10-12 stitches to his forehead and three stitches to his nose."

The IPCC commissioner for Wales, Tom Davies, said: "As the independent body responsible for maintaining public confidence in the police complaints system we are monitoring the continued roll-out of Taser very closely. Following on from the IPCC role in the Home Office's Taser trial, all complaints relating to Taser use are now referred to the IPCC. The IPCC investigation will be carried out by South Wales police professional standards department under our direction."

The inquiry would establish whether the use of force against Evans was necessary and proportionate. "The IPCC will also establish whether the use of Taser was both necessary and proportionate in the circumstances, that its use was properly authorised, tactical advice followed and this was in compliance with policy."