Policing Graduate becomes first female Special Constable to carry Taser in North Wales

Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

A Wrexham University Policing student has become the first female Special Constable in North Wales to become an operational Taser Officer. 

Katy Bell, who graduated last month with a first class degree in Professional Policing and is now just two months away from completing her Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice, successfully completed North Wales Police’s Initial Taser training course, meaning she is now authorised to carry a Taser. 

Speaking about passing the training, Katy, who is originally from Northampton, said: “I’m proud to have passed the Taser training course, meaning I’m the first female Special Constable in North Wales to be an Operational Taser Officer. It means that I have the knowledge and technical skills to operate the device safely and adhere to the standards. 

“The training was challenging and involved some scenario exercises, where I really had to explain and justify my decision making, through having a comprehensive understanding of the National Decision Model. It’s definitely reassuring to know that when dealing with emergency and potentially dangerous situations in the future that I am able to use this important tool, where necessary.” 

Following on from when Katy completes her Masters this summer, she intends to apply to join North Wales Police as a Police Officer. 

“I’m incredibly excited for my next steps and to officially start my Policing career with North Wales Police. My time at university has put me in great stead for a future career in the Police – my lecturers have been nothing short of amazing, with their insights and encouragement. I can’t thank them enough for their support,” she said. 

Andy Jones, Senior Lecturer in Policing, said: “I'm delighted to hear of Katy’s achievement in becoming the first female Special Constable in North Wales to be authorised to carry a Taser, and as a former nationally qualified Taser instructor, I am fully aware how significant an achievement this is.  

“The nationally credited Initial Taser course is one of the most challenging courses that an operational Police Officer can undertake. To successfully pass the course each officer must not only demonstrate competence in the carriage and deployment of a Taser, but they must also demonstrate effective communication and conflict resolution skills and have a detailed knowledge of the National Decision Model and ethical decision making. Taser is a key tactical option that qualified officers have at their disposal in conflict situations. 

“My congratulations to Katy who has worked so hard to achieve this goal – she is an inspiration to her peers and colleagues.” 

Carl Williamson, North Wales Police Special Superintendent, added: “North Wales Police is committed in supporting Volunteer Officers (Special Constables) being afforded the same opportunity as paid officers to become a nationally accredited Specially Trained Officer in the use of Taser.   

“Taser is a very useful piece of equipment which can de-escalate a potentially violent or dangerous situation without excessive force, helping to keep the public and our officers safe. We continually work hard to ensure that we have enough Taser availability across North Wales Police to ensure our needs are met. 

“SC Katy Bell is the first of three Special Constables within North Wales Police to successfully pass the rigorous training course alongside paid officers. This course consists of further in-depth training, including exam surrounding the National Decision-Making Model, weapons handling, situational awareness, and conflict management.   

“I would like to congratulate and offer my thanks to SC Katy Bell for her commitment and effort to North Wales Police.”