Taser supplier’s licence withdrawn
Police purchasing group set to exceed savings target
Police vehicle deal cuts costs
Police forces fail to pay vendors on time
Home Office drops border security IT supplier for contract breach
10 March 2011 | Lindsay
The police’s purchase of Taser stun devices has been criticised by the UK HomeAffairs Committee.
committee of MPs questioned the adequacy of a monopoly supplier business model
in police procurement of the devices and urged the Home Office to examine other
options in order to encourage competition.
monopoly provider, Pro-Tect Systems, had its licence
to supply weapons revoked
after one of the directors of the company gave an “unauthorised” Taser to
the revocation of the authority, the Home Affairs Committee held an urgent
evidence session in response to suggestions that some police forces were due to
run out of Taser stock,” the Committee report said.
its hearings, the Committee discovered a new company had been awarded the
authority to supply Tasers to police forces in England and Wales, but was
concerned about how closely it was linked to the original supplier.
new holder of the authority to supply Tasers [Tactical Safety Responses] to
police forces in England and Wales is extensively linked to the former
distributor, the new company consisting of more or less identical personnel
operating in the same premises with a near-duplicate website,” concluded the
committee hearing, police officers told MPs that the choice of the replacement
supplier was a “commercial decision for Taser International” - the firm which
manufactures the weapons. Only its stun guns are authorised for use in the UK.
chairman Keith Vaz said in a statement: "Whilst we are pleased the Home
Office has resolved the matter of dwindling stock, the fact that the new
supplier is so closely linked to the previous supplier raises serious questions
about the authorisation and procurement processes. It is unacceptable that
there appears to be confusion in an area of policy that deals with a weapon
that has been deployed over 6,000 times by police in this country.
“We will continue to
monitor the situation and intend to further examine police procurement as a
whole in our next inquiry," he added.