More officers being equipped with Taser will help to defuse potentially inflammatory situations, Gloucestershire Police Federation has said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that up to 60% of officers could be equipped with Taser – with £10 million being given to the police service to pay for it.

Chairman Mike Harrison said: “Our position has always been every officer that wants to carry Taser should be afforded the opportunity to do so, so this funding will go along way to seeing this happen.

“The number of serious assaults on officers has been increasing year on year, and although we accept that Taser is not the panacea to stopping officer assaults its carriage and visible presence is often enough to defuse a situation.

“Locally we have had very productive conversations with the force around a Taser uplift, and this additional funding can only help. At present we have 238 Specialist Taser Officers over and above our Firearms capability, spread across Departments throughout the Force, and we hope to see this number increasing over the coming months.

“Officers do not come to work to be assaulted, they have a basic right to return home at the end of a shift uninjured. The uplift in Taser simply won’t increase the levels of violence on the streets – it will go a long way to decreasing it.”

Secretary Ian White added that the move to increase Taser-trained officers was a ‘step in the right direction’.

He said: “We’ve met with our ACC and there’s a significant will in our force to increase the numbers of Tasers that are available to officers on the frontline that want them.

“Not quite the 100% that we’re looking for, but a real significant step in the right direction.

“Officers face dangers on a daily or hourly basis. Having a Taser gives the officer the confidence to deal with people in a proportionate manner.

“It prevents officers getting seriously injured and attacked, and it is just another piece in the equipment that officers need in this ever-changing dangerous environment that we live in these days. It is just right that they are given that opportunity to use Taser.”

The Home Secretary told the Conservative Party conference the funding decision meant she was “empowering” the service.

She said: “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.”