Friday, Sept 5, 2008
Home Office scientists have evaluated exotic hi-tech weapons allowing officers to tackle violent and dangerous suspects without resorting to firearms or truncheons.
The department’s Scientific Development Branch, which acts as a James Bond-style Q Branch for the police, has been examining “less lethal technologies” for nine years. It was responsible for the introduction of the Taser stun gun four years ago.
In a new report into the weapons, the branch outlines developments including guns which could encase criminals in sticky foam and entangling, electric shock nets.
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However, not all of the weapons impressed the department’s scientists and some police officers have warned they risk being overburdened by equipment.
The Less Lethal Technologies report concluded foul-smelling chemicals “could be used to deter crowds, although they are unlikely to prevent a determined assailant”. The report acknowledged there could be “issues around decontamination following deployment, especially in residential or heavily populated areas”.
Heat rays and infra-red laser guns can also be used to disperse crowds by causing great discomfort without any permanent injury.
This article was posted: Friday, September 5, 2008 at 3:23 am