Dozens of claims relating to Taser injuries, including
burns and lacerations, have been received by the Accident
Figures released to the Otago Daily Times under the
Official Information Act reveal 55 claims to ACC concerning
Taser injuries have been lodged since 2010.
Of those, 44 were for males and 11 for females, and 44 claims
were accepted for cover.
This week police confirmed Tasers had been discharged 277
times and presented 1817 times between the national
introduction of the device on March 22, 2010 and December 31,
''While we do not like to see anyone injured as the result of
police interaction, the very low numbers of injuries
highlights that the Taser is a very successful tool in
helping to de-escalate difficult and violent situations that
might have otherwise ended in more serious injury or worse,''
national manager operations Superintendent Barry Taylor said.
The highest number of claims in a year (19) was in 2012-13.
Taser injuries include lacerations - most likely cuts or
punctures (20 claims), soft-tissue injury (13), foreign body
in orifice/eye (5) and burns (4).
Concussions/brain injuries, dental injuries and
fracture/dislocation injuries were also recorded but their
numbers were ''not specified to mitigate the risk of those
claims being identified'', a spokeswoman said.
Injuries may not have resulted from the Taser itself but from
a fall after being tasered.
None of the accepted claims were regarded as serious injuries
or resulted in weekly compensation being paid for loss of
The cost of active claims was $6908, with $3225 recorded in
Police data, excluding minor probe injuries, showed injuries
caused as a result of discharges included six minor (i.e.,
no/self/staff treatment), 13 moderate (i.e., medical
treatment but no hospitalisation) and two serious injuries
(i.e., hospital admission). The hospital admissions resulted
from falls after a discharge, Supt Taylor said.
Police policy required that people who had been tasered were
seen by a GP.
Any issues identified with Taser operation had been
For example, early in the Taser trial, there was an issue
with some staff inadvertently obscuring the Taser camera lens
during deployment, and this had been rectified through
''In addition to the requirement for staff to report Taser
presentations and discharges, incidents are subject to
oversight and review to ensure compliance with policy.''