Police are to be armed with 10,000 Taser stun guns as part of a drive to tackle violent crime. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is expected to announce plans to train front-line response officers in all 43 police forces in England and Wales to fire Tasers at violent suspects.

Currently, the stun guns are used by small units of firearms officers.

Ms Smith, MP for Redditch, said that £8 million will be made available to equip up to 30,000 police response officers across the country with the new 50,000-volt electric guns.