THE chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation said more frontline officers should be issued with Tasers in 2018.

Craig O'Leary issued a message wishing people in the Thames Valley a happy Christmas and New Year's Day, as well as noting increased pressures on officers.

He warned that 2018 will be another tough year for the force.

He added: "So to protect you, we will be looking at pushing for an increased rollout of Taser to our frontline officers, and ensuring that we have Tasers in the right place which we hope will be of help in areas where we see a shortfall in the frontline."

The handheld weapon is designed to temporarily incapacitate a suspect through the use of an electrical current

In 2016, previous chairman Graham Smith called for the stun gun to be available to all officers across the region to allow officers to better protect the public.

Between 2012 and March 2016, officers in Oxford fired the stun gun 24 times, topping Slough with 18 and Milton Keynes with 17.

Concluding his Christmas message, Mr O'Leary said the Thames Valley federation would be be continuing its support of the Protect the Protectors. The national campaign calls for increased roll-out of Tasers and tougher sentences for those who assault officers.