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Webinar: Tasers & Policing: Improving National Guidance, Addressing Discrimination & Promoting Best Practice to Keep Both the Police & Public Safe

Thursday, December 16th 2021 

According to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the use of tasers by police risks losing its legitimacy in the eyes of the public if community concerns are not addressed through improvements to national guidance, training and scrutiny of when they are deployed. The warning, issued in August, followed 101 investigations undertaken into the use of tasers between 2015 and 2020. The report but the IOPC showed that tasers were used disproportionately against people from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic backgrounds, and significantly against people under 18. Perhaps most concerning from the IOPC’s investigation, were 26 investigations that found that an officer may have behaved in a manner that would justify bringing disciplinary proceedings or a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service; while four inquests found the use of Taser in combination with other factors contributed to, or were relevant in, a person’s death. A recent Home Office report showed that in the year to March 2020, tasers were discharged in 32,000 incidents – 37% higher than the previous year, reflecting a general pattern of the increasing use of tasers by police.

Tasers have been used by the police since 2003, at first just by firearms officers, but then for all trained officers since 2008. To be issued with a taser, an officer must have completed 18 hours of training over a period of three days, plus six hours of training each year thereafter. The College of Policing also sets out the conditions under which the deployment of tasers is deemed reasonable. Following the change of government in 2019, the new Home Secretary committed to a £10 million funding pot to enable Chief Constables to equip every single officer with a Taser, should they wish to do so. The Home Secretary also approved the Taser 7 – a more accurate, faster and compact device than previous models – under the auspices of protecting the police and the public.

As part of the IOPC’s investigations and consultations with relevant stakeholders and community groups, the IOPC made 17 recommendations – to the College of Policing, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, and the Home Office –  seeking improvements to national guidance and training; scrutiny and monitoring of Taser use; and data and research. The IOPC also stressed the need for community engagement to ensure that the use of tasers continues to have the support of the community, building upon the notion of ‘policing by consent’. Beyond the IOPC review, the use of tasers by police remains controversial. In 2016, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child renewed its previous call in 2008 for a prohibition on the use of the Taser against children. A review of taser use by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2014 warned against use of the weapon on the basis of its availability rather than of its necessity. The IPCC was particularly troubled by Taser use in the controlled setting of custody suites.

This symposium will give police forces, local authorities, policy makers, charities and other interest groups the opportunity to analyse the mounting challenges associated with the use of tasers and discuss best practice in improving accountability, building trust with communities and keeping both police and the public safe.


  • Develop strategies to improve the use of tasers by police to ensure that they are used reasonably and effectively
  • Consider the recommendations made by the IOPC and discuss the potential for future reforms of the use of tasers
  • Discuss the introduction of the Taser 7 model and the Home Office’s funding of greater access to taser
  • Examine the disproportionate use of tasers on people from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic backgrounds
  • Explore methods to improve community engagement and ensure that the use of tasers continues to have the consent and confidence of the public
  • Analyse the increase int he use of tasers and understand the reasons behind it
  • Understand the existing police complaints system and look at how this can be improved to ensure greater accountability and transparency
  • Look at alternatives to the use of tasers in policing
  • Learn about the long term effects of the use of tasers on those subjected to them, including medical implications

To register for the briefing, please click here.


EUCPN webinar: busting crime prevention myths


Organised crime is a bit of a confusing concept. Depending on whom you ask, it means different things. This is reflected in European criminal policy, where definitions were not always clear and priorities have shifted. What is clear is that organised crime has become quasi-synonymous with serious international crime. This may give rise to the idea that organised crime is something that should be dealt with by high-level strategic players. However, organised crime is also embedded locally and has a local impact. Local preventionists and police officers, too, have important roles to play in the prevention of, and fight against, organised crime. Read the new mythbuster.


During the webinar on Tuesday 23 November 2021 two mythbusters will be discussed. The first concerns awareness-raising campaigns, which are still very popular in the field.  However, there is little evidence that awareness in and of itself is able to prompt behavioural change, and consequently, that it can contribute much to crime prevention. The second one deals with deterrence. Fear-based tactics are commonplace within crime prevention and raising awareness of the potential risks and harms is assumed to deter people from a particular behaviour. However, this is not always the case and may even be counter-productive.

European Crime Prevention Conference 2022

28 Apr 2022 to 29 Apr 2022


The European Crime Prevention Conference is the biennial conference and offers a forum to share knowledge and experiences regarding crime prevention across the European Union. It welcomes policymakers, practitioners and academics, but maintains a consistent focus on the frontline.

The general topic of 2022 is partners in crime prevention:
Co-production of security, partnership approaches, multi-agency crime prevention… The ideal of working together to make society a safer place is shared by many. But collaborations also present challenges. How to identify the right partners? Who takes the lead? Which information is shared with whom? And how do we make it all work in view of every partner's mandate and competences?


Call for presentations

EUCPN is looking for stories of successes and failures in multi-agency co-operation in crime prevention. This includes both local operations and cross-border co-operations. They have a particular focus on the prevention of group violence, (violent) bullying, domestic burglary, administrative approach, and domestic violence, but welcome contributions on other topics as well. Brief summaries for oral presentations can be submitted by filling in the template before 15 December 2021.

If you have further questions, please contact:

Webinar: Combating Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Developing a Stronger Multi-Agency Response for the Identification of and Support for Victims

Thursday, November 11th 2021

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 5,144 modern slavery offences recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2019, an increase of 51% from the previous year. Since, then, charities, law enforcement agencies and other bodies have argued that the Covid-19 pandemic could make people more vulnerable to exploitation and could make victims of human trafficking less able to access help. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) suggested that lockdowns and travel restrictions could drive crime further underground, while Interpol have concluded that the financial pressures following the pandemic could impact the incentives and opportunities for criminals to profit from illegal migration. Recent figures published by the Home Office, showed that between during the first three months of 2021, 2,945 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the national referral mechanism (NRM) across the UK – a 33% increase on the same quarter in 2019.

The 2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery outlines the UK Government approach, alongside the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking. The support is based on four strands: pursue, prevent, protect, and victim identification and support. This person-centric approach to human trafficking, tackling perpetrators and supporting victims, is also found in the new changes to the Immigration System the New Plan for Immigration that aims to criminalise anyone supporting those attempting to illegally enter the UK, and improve criminal justice responses to human traffickers. The government has also acknowledged that victims of modern slavery may be “especially isolated and hidden from view during the coronavirus outbreak”. It has subsequently made serval steps to support victims. During the pandemic, victims who were in accommodation provided by the government-funded specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract were not required to move. £1.73 million of funding for relevant charities was also announced, supporting the Victim Care Contract, and helping victims access financial assistance and support services.

Despite the government’s vows to fund the ‘Places of Safety’ programme in 2017, many charities argue that little progress has been made, and that victims do not receive adequate care and violence and re-enslaving. Critics of the new immigration plan, such as the NGO, Focus on Labour Exploitation, have argued that closing legal routes into the UK, will push many into the hands of traffickers. While the new system could also lead to labour shortages in sectors such as hospitality and agriculture, which might, according to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, “spark an increase in the number of migrants working in the country illegally, both of their own free will and under duress”. The impact of Brexit will also have implications beyond the end of freedom of movement. Trafficking victims identified in the UK will face a greater risk of being deported or repatriated, while loss of access to EUROPOl databases will undermine UK efforts to tackle criminal organisations.

This symposium will therefore provide local authorities, police forces, health professionals, criminal justice agencies, academics and charities, with a timely opportunity to examine methods of improving the identification and disruption of modern slavery and human trafficking. It will also enable delegates to share best practice in strengthening local partnership arrangements and coordination activities to increase reporting and deliver sustained support for victims.


  • Discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the incidence of human trafficking and modern slavery, and ability of stakeholders to respond
  • Evaluate current government policy to tackling human trafficking including the 2020 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery and the New Immigration Plan
  • Develop ideas for delivering an effective coordinated response across national, regional and local law enforcement agencies
  • Determine how local authorities and police services can work in partnership to target, identify and disrupt modern slavery
  • Explore opportunities to raise awareness amongst businesses and ensure compliance in preventing human trafficking in their supply chains
  • Assess how confirmed victims can be better provided with sustained multi-agency and monitored support after receiving NRM decision, minimising the risk of re-trafficking
  • Analyse how relevant agencies can improve staff training and engage with local communities to improve awareness and understanding of human trafficking and modern slavery
  • Identify how victims can be better supported to give evidence against their enslavers, thereby increasing levels of successful prosecutions
  • Formulate methods of increasing the quality and quantity of NRM referrals from NGOs
  • Share good practice in coalescing health, welfare and housing support services around victims of human trafficking and modern slavery to address significant unmet needs
  • Explore new means of cooperation with EUROPOL and other European enforcement agencies after Brexit

To register for the briefing, please click here.

EUCPN: Toolbox domestic violence and intimate partner homicide

The toolbox highlights two specific aspects to practitioners and policymakers working in the field of domestic violence. The first emphasises the need for targeted and tailored approaches. Domestic violence is often treated as a single phenomenon, yet we can identify different types: situational couple violence and intimate terrorism. Secondly, we emphasises one of the targeted approaches that has received less attention within this field: perpetrator programmes. These programmes work with violent men and aim to increase their sense of responsibility and accountability for their behaviour and to enable them to unlearn this behaviour.