• Switzerland edition
 
Taser use on the rise in Switzerland
Junglecat (File)

Taser use on the rise in Switzerland

Published: 10 Feb 2012 13:48 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Feb 2012 09:39 GMT+01:00

Since approval for use of tasers in Switzerland by Swiss cantonal police was granted in 2003, usage has been steadily on the increase.

The Swiss Police Technical Commission recorded 18 instances last year, up from 15 cases the previous year, newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports.

The trend is steadily rising, with thirteen, seven and eight cases recorded in the years 2007 to 2009. Overall, the gun has been used 70 times since its introduction in Switzerland.

Tasers operate by emitting a strong electrical current, disrupting voluntary control of the recipient’s muscles. They have become increasingly popular among police and special forces units in cases concerning mentally disturbed, violent or intoxicated individuals.

Unlike the United States, where tasers can be carried legally in 43 states without a permit, use of tasers in Switzerland is restricted to use only by police and border guards.

In over half of the cases reported in Switzerland last year, the targets were described as being emotionally disturbed. The rest of the numbers were made up of individuals under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

Amnesty International has voiced concern over the use of taser guns, in particular against the emotionally disturbed, NZZ reports.

The organisation maintains that tasers should only be used when any other weapon would be used.

In half of the cases, the taser was used to still physically violent and aggressive individuals.

Only one person is recorded as being injured in 2011. These injuries were sustained when the recipient fell from the force of the shock.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Anti-match-fixing treaty signed in Switzerland
Council of Europe chief Thorbjoern Jagland spoke against match-fixing in sport. Photo: Daniel Sannum Lauten/AFP

Anti-match-fixing treaty signed in Switzerland

Sports ministers from across Europe gathered in Switzerland Thursday to sign a treaty aimed at rooting out the "scourge" of match-fixing and illegal betting in sports. READ  

Italian prime minister's dad in Swiss fraud probe
Renzi's father is being investigated for bankruptcy fraud in Geneva, according to reports. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian prime minister's dad in Swiss fraud probe

Investigators in Geneva are reportedly investigating the father of Italy's prime minister Matteo Renzi for bankruptcy fraud, Italian media reported on Thursday. READ  

Swiss creates Google Glass app for medics
The Google Glass app will allow paramedics direct contact with doctors in emergency situations. Photo: Rijans007/Wikimedia Commons

Swiss creates Google Glass app for medics

A doctor in Switzerland has created an app allowing paramedics to use Google Glass to improve the quality and speed of treatment for emergency patients. READ  

Rare Valais sheep feared stolen for meat sale
The Saas sheep has distinctive long, pendulous ears. Photo: ProSpecieRara

Rare Valais sheep feared stolen for meat sale

Police investigating the case of 103 sheep which disappeared from an alpine pasture near Saas-Almagell in the canton of Valais are treating it as theft. READ  

Swift exit for Swiss dream team in Tokyo
Bencic (left) was coached by Hingis' mother. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Swift exit for Swiss dream team in Tokyo

Former world number one Martina Hingis and rising star Belinda Bencic ended their first time together as a dream doubles team for Switzerland in the Pan Pacific Open second round on Thursday. READ  

Streaming service Netflix arrives in Switzerland
Programmes can be watched on a range of devices. Photo: Netflix

Streaming service Netflix arrives in Switzerland

Popular US video streaming service Netflix launched in Switzerland on Thursday morning after opening for business in Germany, France and Austria earlier this week. READ  

Czech spoils Bencic's upward rise in Tokyo
Swiss teen Bencic's upward rise beaten back. Photo: Paul Crock/AFP/File

Czech spoils Bencic's upward rise in Tokyo

Seventh-seeded Lucie Safarova battled back to beat wild card Belinda Bencic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Wednesday and reach the Pan Pacific tennis tournament quarterfinals, spoiling the Swiss teenager's upward momentum this year. READ  

Richemont shares drop on sluggish sales figures
Photo: Richemont

Richemont shares drop on sluggish sales figures

Shares in Geneva-based Richemont, number two in the luxury products world after LVMH, fell on Wednesday after the group reported falling sales in Asia. READ  

Health officials warn of vegan dangers for kids
Photo: AFP

Health officials warn of vegan dangers for kids

As veganism gains popularity in Switzerland, federal authorities are warning that a diet without animal products carries health risks for young children. READ  

Billion dollars needed to fight Ebola epidemic: UN
Photo: Malcolm Curtis/The Local

Billion dollars needed to fight Ebola epidemic: UN

Nearly one billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations said in Geneva on Tuesday, while Washington pledged 3,000 troops to try to "turn the tide" of the epidemic. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swiss football club fires team masseuse over explicit sex video
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,100
jobs available