'That's lightning - a horrendous tool' - expert verdict on one million volt stun guns being illegally shipped into UK

BBC documentary has found that in the past three years 500 stun guns have been seized by the Metropolitan Police in London

Stun guns 20 times more powerful than the Tasers used by police are being illegally shipped into the UK.

A BBC documentary has found that in the past three years 500 stun guns have been seized by the Metropolitan Police in London and that they are becoming the weapons of choice for inner city criminal gangs.

The documentary also revealed that a gun with a charge of one million volts can be bought by mail order for as little as £60 and shipped to the UK.

The BBC Inside Out programme ordered two devices, both of which made it through customs.

The Metropolitan Police force says that it has investigated more than 200 cases in the capital involving the weapons - but admits that the figures could be far higher. Possessing a stun gun can carry a maximum jail sentence of 10 years in the UK.

One former gang member also claims that the weapons are increasingly being used by teenage gangs because of the crackdown on gun crime

The UK Border Force (UKBF) has insisted it is tackling the problem.

The BBC said the weapons were purchased without any questions about age or criminal status from a German website. The guns arrived within days and were accompanied by a can of free, and also illegal, pepperspray.

Eran Bauer, of Civil Defence Supply - which supplies Tasers to the UK police - described it as "one heck of a brute".

He told the BBC after seeing it fired he said: "That's lightning - horrendous tool.

"I don't believe you managed to get one of these. That is seriously dangerous."

BBC reporter Mark Jordan said there are potentially hundreds of the weapons arriving the UK each week. He claims one officer said there could be as many as 10,000 Tasers in the hands of criminals.

MP Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, told the Inside Out programme: “I’m absolutely shocked that there are present on the streets of London and other cities these stun guns and Tasers that are more powerful than the weapons that are being used by our police.

“How is it possible for someone to be able to go online and get a gun into this country through what we are told is one of the most sophisticated borders in the world? Clearly it’s important that we take action to find out what’s gone wrong and I clearly intend to raise the matter with the head of The Border Agency and the Home Secretary when she next appears before the Select Committee.”

A Border Force spokesperson said: 'Stun guns are prohibited under the Firearms Act and anyone possessing one faces a 10 year jail sentence.

'Border Force, Revenue and Customs and police work together to target the importation of any illegal weapons, seizing them at the border and targeting those who seek to bring weapons into the country.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works