Data from 18 police forces was compiled by StopWatch through a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.
The group, which is a coalition of legal experts and civil liberties campaigners, said the rights of children had been“violated” and that police actions contradicted the Human Rights Act.
“Perhaps the most shocking thing is we don’t really know what effects Tasers have when used on children,” StopWatch said in a statement. “The obvious medical concern is that children are smaller and thus more vulnerable: their heart muscles and bones may not have developed fully; it is believed that cardiac rupture is more likely to occur among children.”
Amnesty International official Oliver Sprague condemned the findings and said he was concerned about the lack of“guidance” police have on using the weapon on young people and children.
Using electronic weapons on minors has been categorized as child abuse when perpetrated by civilians (particularly African-Americans), but British police continue the practice despite a warning from the Defence Sub-committee on the Medical Implications of Less-Lethal Weapons that stun guns are more likely to cause heart problems in children.
In the US, Philadelphia police were criticized for firing a Taser at a 14-year-old boy’s face, causing him to fall and injure himself.