This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Most policeman in the U.K do not carry guns. But this police force has to handle a growing number of crimes performed using this non lethal weapon. Possessing a stun gun in the United Kingdom can carry a jail sentence of ten years, but the police keeps seizing hundreds of stun guns every year.
The BBC reports that documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that U.K. law enforcement agencies have investigated more than 200 crimes in the last three years involving stun guns, and that in those three years almost 500 stun guns have been seized by police. The BBC ordered a pair of stun guns from a German Web site for about $96 each, and no questions about age or criminal status were asked during the purchase. The guns made it through customs separately, arriving in just a few days. The manufacturer also threw in, for free, two canisters of pepper spray – another illegal weapon in the United kingdom.
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said he could not believe the police has not been able to crack down on stun guns.
“How is it possible for someone to go online and get a gun into this country through what we are told is one of the most sophisticated borders in the world?” Vaz asked. “Clearly it’s important we take action to find out what’s gone wrong and I intend to raise the matter with the head of the Border Agency and the home secretary when she appears before the committee.”
The guns had a maximum of one million volts, which is twenty times more than the 50,000 volts guns local police carry.
Eran Bauer of the Civil Defense Supply, a group that trains U.K. police in using tasers, said the weapons are “one heck of a brute.”
After witnessing a demonstration, Bauer was shocked at the power and damage the stun guns can generate.
“That’s lightning – horrendous tool, I don’t believe you managed to get one of these.” Bauer told the BBC. “That is seriously dangerous, you are going to end up with skin burns for a start, and it’s subcutaneous damage. If it goes into the neck across the nerves you can just imagine the damage. Hit across the chest then anything could happen – [it could] end up killing someone.”
“This has got to be stopped at source. There must be some way of screening mail,” Bauer added.
Daryl James, a former gang member, thinks the growth in popularity of stun guns is a result of police and the government cracking down on gun and knife violence.
The UK Border Force addressed the issue in a statement. “The UK Border Force, Revenue and Customs and police work together to target importation of illegal weapons, and those who seek to bring weapons into the country.”