Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has today announced that the force will double the number of officers trained in the use of tasers.
The uplift will see the amount of officers trained rise to 1,100.
The decision has been made to provide increased protection to the people of Greater Manchester and police officers responding to serious incidents.
This follows the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.
Each officer selected to undergo training will go through a rigorous assessment process, in line with national guidelines, to ensure that they are suitable to carry a taser.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “The threat level we are facing is significant as we have seen from recent atrocities in our city and in the capital. We have seen attacks targeting innocent people in crowded places using knives, causing death and serious injury.
“I believe it is necessary to increase the number of specially trained officers authorised to carry tasers. This is necessary in order to better protect the people of Greater Manchester and the officers of Greater Manchester Police.
“Keeping our communities safe is our number one priority and this uplift will allow us to better equip officers to respond to the increasing threat of terrorism and serious crime.
“It is often the case that just having a taser officer present can diffuse a threatening situation without them actually having to use it or get involved in a physical confrontation.
“This was not a decision taken lightly and we have consulted with and worked very closely with Greater Manchester Police Federation and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.
“We have received unilateral support from both for the decision to better protect the public and officers. The Deputy Mayor has authorised the capital expenditure of £1.03M to allow me to take this decision.”
Beverley Hughes, Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Following the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London we have to ensure that the police have the equipment they need to deal effectively with potentially serious incidents.
“One aspect of this is increasing the number of officers trained to carry tasers, which will ensure the people of Greater Manchester are better protected, as well as police officers themselves.
“Equally important is maintaining and developing the strong relationships that Greater Manchester police officers have with local communities. This is another key element in keeping people safe and will continue to be a high priority for Greater Manchester police.”
Ian Hanson, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation said: “We welcome the decision of the Chief Constable to double the number of taser trained officers policing the streets of Greater Manchester and this has been done after we asked him to review the position last year.
“Recent events have demonstrated that we make big asks of police officers in keeping our communities safe and it is entirely appropriate that they are provided with the appropriate support to do that.
“This decision goes a long way to ensuring that they can continue to protect our communities whilst keeping themselves safe at the same time.”