Discharge of a Taser near to Shiel Bridge, Glenshiel, on 1 September 2016


On 1 September 2016, officers of Police Scotland discharged a conducted energy device (commonly known as a 'Taser') at a 47 year old man near to Shiel Bridge, Glenshiel.

Officers had been called to the incident following reports, including a call from the man himself, that he had a number of weapons and was suicidal.

Armed officers were deployed to the incident and initially successfully negotiated with the man to throw down two guns and a knife. However, he subsequently ignored officers' instructions and began to make his way back towards the weapons. 

As a result, an officer discharged his Taser which temporarily incapacitated the man but he began struggling violently when officers tried to restrain him and was subject to a further Taser discharge, following which he was handcuffed and detained. Some local residents witnessed the events.

All incidents of the use of firearms, including Taser, by officers of Police Scotland, must be referred to the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) for independent assessment.

The PIRC's investigators took statements from witnesses to the events, examined relevant police records, and radio transmissions and records of calls to the police, and confirmed that the Taser that was discharged was in good working order.

Summary of Findings

Following the investigation, the Commissioner concluded that:

  • The use of the Taser was proportionate and justified. It allowed police to safely control the man and ensure that he did not seriously injure himself, members of the public or police officers.
  • Armed officers involved in this incident, including operational and tactical commanders, managed the incident professionally.

Note to Editors: In terms of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, and the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013, all incidents of the use of firearms, including Taser, by officers of Police Scotland, must be referred to the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) for independent assessment.

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