THE organisation representing Lancashire’s rank and file officers has welcomed the government’s £10million pledge to provide more of them with Tasers.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced at last week’s Conservative conference that the extra cash would allow almost two-thirds of officers to be equipped with the electronic stun guns.

Rachel Hanley, chair of the Lancashire Police Federation, hailed the promise as ‘a step in the right direction’.

Mrs Patel announced the £10m ringfenced fund which could pay for equipping 60 per cent of policemen and women with Tasers.

Lancashire’s Chief Constable Andy Rhodes indicated that his force would use the cash to equip more of its front-line officers with the electronic weapons.

Mrs Patel told party representatives in Manchester: “It is the job of chief constables to make that operational decision.

“It is the job of the Home Secretary to empower them to do so. I am giving them that power.”

Lancashire police currently has 1,568 frontline officers. of whom 409 are Taser trained and 309 officers currently carry the stun guns.

Ms Hanley said: “Obviously this is a massive step in the right direction.

“The federation has said that all officers who want to be armed with Tasers should be allowed to carry a Taser.

“So we’re really pleased that the money’s been found. It’s a priority to keep out officers safe and to keep the public safe.

“It’s important for them to have it because it’s part of a toolkit for officers, and it’s vital that they’re kept safe.

“I think this is one tool that will help officers keep safe on the streets and keep the communities safe.”

A police spokesman said: “We are committed to delivering an uplift to Tasers in Lancashire and have been working on a plan for some months. We want to get to a position in the future where the majority of frontline officers who want one, can have one.

“Work is underway to determine how we will do this, how long it will take and how much money we need to invest.”

County police commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "I support a phased increase in Tasers and officers who are trained to use them in appropriate circumstances, based on operational need.

“However this should only be up to a point where they are available for frontline officers, and a choice for those officers and not mandatory.”