Restraint at a Distance

One of the major problems facing police officers is how to restrain a violent or potentially violent individual, who may be carrying an offensive weapon, using the minimum appropriate force. Clearly, the tactical firearms units are often required in these situations, but there is an increasing trend to look for other "nonlethal" options, which will incapacitate with a lower risk of serious injury. In the United Kingdom, the investigation of firearm incidents under the auspices of the Police Complaints Authority with its attendant recommendations is a major influence when looking at developments in this area (7). Different countries use different restraint equipment, such as water cannon or the firing of different projectiles (e.g., bean bags), and these are subject to consideration for police use at certain times. In 2003, trails of the use of the Taser were commenced in the United Kingdom.

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