Introduction of electroshock weapons

The police will be equipped with electroshock weapons. This proposal by Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus has been approved by the Cabinet. As a result, the Chief Officer will be permitted to outfit around 17,000 police officers with this weapon. These officers will be deployed by the control room to deal with incidents. For this purpose, the government will set aside a total amount of 30 million euros.

Electroshock weapons are effective in de-escalating dangerous situations, as emerged from an extensive pilot by the police as well as studies of their safety and health effects. In most cases, threatening to use them is enough. Where it is not, deploying the weapon delivers a current to a person, who will be unable to control their muscles for a few seconds. As a result, the police are able to overpower a person with a minimum of force. This approach limits the extent of injuries compared with applying other types of force, such as severe physical force, heavy use of the baton, deployment of the police dog or shooting of a firearm.

Using electroshock weapons also reduces the risk that the officer will sustain an injury. This situation increases the confidence of police officers who face a situation during the performance of their duties in which it may be necessary to apply force, because of which they will be able to take firm but moderate action.

Introducing electroshock weapons will take five years, during which period the tender will be launched and officers will be trained, among other things. The Ministry of Justice and Security will provide the police with a one-off sum of 30 million euros in total to fund this roll-out. From 2021 onwards, the police will earmark a structural amount of 5 million euros in the police budget. These funds will cover the full costs of electroshock weapons until 2025.