Devon and Cornwall Police are consulting on plans to increase number of taser trained officers to around 1,000 by 2018.

Devon and Cornwall Police is looking to increase the number of officers carrying tasers in the next three years.

There are currently 530 taser trained officers in the force, but new plans could see this increase to almost double that by 2018.

Police say the move is to 'better protect' communities and reduce the number of assaults on officers, which currently stands at around 30 incidents a month.

Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, leading the project, said: "We are one of the largest and most rural forces in England and our resources are at times thinly spread.

"Everyday our officers are called to deal with incidents involving weapons which requires us to assess what threat this might pose to the community or those officers attending.

"We want the public to know suitably trained and equipped officers can arrive promptly and deal with any incident as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible.

"This review will help us to determine the best way to ensure we have sufficient resilience to keep both communities and police officers safe."

Supt Drummond Smith said between January 2011 and October 2015, D&C Police officers drew tasers during incidents on 1,250 occasions.

That equates to 0.1 per cent of the 1.3million incidents attended, but they only fired tasers on 306 occasions.

He added: "The chances of officers using a taser are very small and we don't believe this would increase with a roll out of more authorised officers.

"What we do believe is that those wanting to cause harm through the use of weapons can be more effectively, quickly and safely dealt with if an officer has a taser."

Members of the public are being asked to fill out a survey to let the force know what they think of the plans.

This will then be reviewed by the chief constable in the autumn.

Find the survey and take part at https://services.devon-cornwall.police.uk/surveys/tasers/index.htm