An English police force will equip nearly 300 more officers with tasers following a rise in the number of assaults on staff, it confirmed today.
Thames Valley Police said the number of officers trained to use the controversial stun guns would increase by 280 to 485.
Currently only firearms officers are allowed to carry and use taser guns, which use an electric current to stun an offender, but this will now change.
The decision followed consultation with officers, local police area commanders and the Police Federation.
Assistant chief constable John Campbell, who is responsible for tactical support, said the force has seen an increase in incidents where firearms officers with tasers provide support to unarmed colleagues.
The announcement comes on the day blind stroke victim Colin Farmer lodged a compensation claim against Lancashire Constabulary after he was shot in the back with a taser by an officer who allegedly mistook his white stick for a samurai sword.
The blunder happened on October 12 last year after reports were received of a man walking in Chorley with a martial arts weapon.
Mr Farmer has sent a letter to Lancashire Constabulary, claiming damages for assault, false imprisonment and a breach of his human rights.
He is also seeking a declaration of incompatibility from the High Court in relation to the use of the taser.
An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is ongoing.