The Maldives Police Service has started using conducted energy weapons, also known as Taser guns, as a means of less lethal force in its operations. This announcement was made via Twitter by the Maldives Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Hameed. The roll-out of Taser guns began on February 26, 2023, with high-visibility policing teams in Male.
According to the tweet, only officers with a sergeant or above rank who had undergone certification training would be authorized to carry and use the Taser gun for the first time at the Maldives Police Service. The use of conducted energy weapons has been a topic of discussion among law enforcement agencies worldwide as it offers a less lethal alternative to firearms.
The new weapon has been welcomed by some as a necessary tool for police to protect themselves and the public in high-risk situations. However, others have raised concerns about the potential for the abuse of this weapon, particularly in the context of police violence.
The use of Taser guns has been linked to a number of deaths worldwide. In some cases, police officers have used the weapon more often than necessary, or used it on individuals who posed no immediate threat, resulting in serious injury or death.
In response to these concerns, the Maldives Police Service has stated that the use of Taser guns would be governed by strict protocols and procedures to ensure that the weapon is used only in situations where other forms of force are ineffective or inappropriate. They added that officers who misuse the Taser gun would face disciplinary action.
The use of Taser guns in the Maldives Police Service is a significant step in ensuring the safety of police officers and the public. However, there are valid concerns about the potential for the misuse of this weapon.