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21 May 2018, 13:56
More than 500 officers are set to start Taser training which was ordered in response to an increase in assaults on police.
Training in the protective equipment for 520 officers will begin at the end of May, Police Scotland said.
The first officers are expected to return to their local communities after the programme in June.
They will will be given Taser X2 weapons to be used in both urban and rural areas across Scotland.
Chief Superintendent Matt Richards said: "Due to the increasing number of incidents officers are attending where people are armed with bladed weapons and the growing number of assaults on police officers, it is necessary for us to take steps to improve our ability to keep the public and officers safe.
"The officers will be fully trained in the use and safe keeping of the Taser, and there will also be a focus on dealing with vulnerable people and identifying risks to ensure that the deployment of Taser is proportionate and safe.
"These officers will be deployed at the heart of local policing in all 13 divisions across Scotland, helping to keep their colleagues and the public safe, and bringing Police Scotland into line with forces throughout the UK."
The Scottish Government, Scottish Police Federation, Scottish Police Authority, Police Investigations & Review Commissioner and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland have been working with the NHS and Violence Reduction Unit to improve "de-escalation" techniques.
Police Scotland said Tasers allow officers to maintain a safer distance from a subject, decrease the risk of injury, prevent escalation and enable quicker resolution to an incident.
Calum Steele, of the Scottish Police Federation, said: "Police officers are attending incidents where they face increased violence and individuals armed with weapons on a daily basis.
"They are subjected to assaults and regularly suffer injuries, some of which can be life-changing and career-ending.
"It is vital that officers have the necessary equipment and training so they can keep the public, and themselves, safe when responding to these incidents.
"A survey of our members showed overwhelming support for the provision of additional protective equipment and the training programme that will start shortly is a welcome step in the right direction."