Investigation into second Taser incident in Burnley custody suite
A POLICE watchdog is investigating a second Taser incident at Burnley Police Station.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has decided to look again at a complaint against officers who are said to have Tasered a suspect after he refused to remove his underwear.
The alleged victim, Michael Shaw, claims a custody officer used a Taser on him after he refused a strip search.
The 26-year-old, from Burnley, was arrested and later charged with racially-aggravated assault, and theft, last July.
He faces trial later this year.
The new investigation follows another probe by the IPCC, reported last week, into a complaint made by a second prisoner held at Burnley.
Benjamin Monks claims officers used “disproportionate and unnecessary force” to detain him when he was arrested last September.
The 20-year-old, from Burnley, currently serving a prison sentence in Manchester, has now instructed a solicitor to act on his behalf, and the complaint has been passed by Lancashire Police to the IPCC.
He was transferred to the custody suite at Burnley Police Station, where officers tried to search him and he ended up being Tasered.
Monks was subsequently charged with nine separate offences, including Section 4 public order, and possession of an offensive weapon, police said.
He was remanded to appear before Burnley magistrates, where he pleaded guilty, and was later sentenced to four months in prison.
IPCC Commissioner for Lancashire James Dipple-Johnstone said: “The complaint (from Shaw) was originally referred to the IPCC in September last year and a decision was made that it could be investigated locally by Lancashire Police.
“However, I now want to look at the complaint again as there are a number of similarities with a second complaint received in February about the use of a Taser at Burnley Police Station that is being independently investigated by the IPCC.”
Lancashire Police, which had the sixth highest Taser usage of all police forces between 2004 and 2009, is also being investigated after a blind Chorley man was Tasered when officers alleg- edly mistook his white stick for a Samauri sword.
A police spokesman said: “Lanc-ashire Constabulary is investigating a complaint made by a member of the public following his arrest for offences last July.
“The incident was referred to the Independent Police Compl-aints Commission who were happy for Lancashire Constabulary to look into the matter themselves.
“No officers have been suspended, or placed on alternative duties.”
Under Home Office guidelines, officers can deploy a Taser in incidents where the use of firearms is not authorised, but where they are facing violence, or threats of violence of such severity that they would need to use force to protect the public, themselves, or the subject.