I’ve said it before and I honestly can’t quite believe I’m having to say it again, care assistants probably shouldn’t be armed. Sure, they sometimes have to deal with folk who might be confused and occasionally downright cranky. And then there are the patients to cope with. Even so, if they’re attempting to quell the problems they encounter with a side arm or similar there’s in all likelihood something rather wrong going down.
Speaking as a non-parent, I’m sure such people have felt the urge to use force to settle a fussy child but those who wish to avoid criminal charges tend to opt for the somewhat softer option of another round of nursery rhymes. Or some warm milk doused in gin if they get especially desperate. An adult tasked with the care of another human being really shouldn’t have a weapon at their disposal if they’ll be minded to use it. Or am I being incredibly controversial again? Even as a mild threat such items aren’t especially acceptable.
So we can all share in a bout of middle class horror when we discover that some care homes are quantifiably less good than others. And then there are those where harassed care assistants have taken to wielding Tasers when confronted with the rowdier component of their patient population. I’m sure you can appreciate where they’re coming from. It’s not as if they use them on a particularly high setting or anything.
Is better funding the way forward? How about allowing staff to use restraints on difficult inmates they don’t really feel like dealing with at that moment in time? Sending the rabble to live with unfortunate relatives? The most popular suggestion thus far is medicating them up to their eyeballs and allowing them to enjoy a psychotropic bender on LSD or similar. I reckon most of the interested parties would probably go for it.