POLICE in Fife have been found to have broken guidelines after a taser was discharged accidentally in Glenrothes police station.
The discharge of the taser could have been prevented according to the body that investigates the police.
Yesterday (Jan 21) the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) said that the device fired within the armed response vehicle bay at Glenrothes police office on December 2, 2014.
No one was injured and no property was damaged as a result of the accidental discharge.
In the course of their investigation, PIRC investigators interviewed police officers, reviewed witness statements, and examined firearms documentation and the relevant standard operating procedures.
A spokeswoman from the PIRC said: “The discharge of the taser was preventable. Authorised firearms officers in Fife Division stored tasers within the Armoury at Glenrothes with the front and rear cartridges attached to the weapon.
“This was in contravention of Police Scotland’s standard operating procedures. Following this incident, Police Scotland report that this practice has been discontinued.
“The officer who discharged the taser was from a police division outwith Fife and was not aware that Fife Division stored tasers with their cartridges loaded.
“He wrongly concluded that one of two taser cartridges which were visible to him on a nearby workbench would have to be fitted to the taser before it could be fired. He should not have made that assumption and should have followed standard procedures for loading and unloading weapons.
“Another officer who had unloaded two cartridges from another taser had also failed to comply with standard safety officer procedures,” she added.
All incidents of Police Scotland’s use of firearms, including tasers, must be referred to the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) for independent investigation.
The PIRC are currently investigating the discharge of a taser by an officer from Police Scotland at the home of a 47 year old man in Dundee on January 10, 2015 and the use of CS spray on a male motorist in the forecourt area of a garage in Portsoy on 12 November 2014.