Spiderman web for crowd control

Having the ability to safely incapacitate a suspect has long been the goal of law enforcement officers across the world.

Sep 20, 2007
By David Howell

Having the ability to safely incapacitate a suspect has long been the goal of law enforcement officers across the world.

In the UK, forces have slowly adopted new technologies, beginning in 1995 with CS spray. But it’s the Taser gun that has caused the most controversy since it began to be used by officers.

More exotic means of subduing a suspect continue to be developed, including a way of gently ‘microwaving’ a suspect that is being tested in the US. The ‘Silent Weapon’, as it has become known, looks like a satellite dish mounted on the back of a pickup truck. According to its developers, it can “fire off beams of high energy at around 50°C for up to 500m” producing the same sort of non-lethal effects as the Taser.

Other non-lethal systems currently in development include the Mobility Denial System that covers the offender in a glutinous jelly that is fired from a bazooka-like weapon. The offender is effectively immobilised against whatever object they are standing near. The downside is that the jelly takes some time to set.

An offshoot of the microwave device is the Active Denial System. This uses electromagnetic radiation to heat the water in an offenders’ body resulting in a very unpleasant burning sensation that renders them incapable.

The rubber bullet is also being transformed with new systems, including one that uses a bean bag-like projectile that can be fired over short distances and incapacitates an offender for a short period of time. More bizarre is the ‘WebShot’ – a net that when fired expands to encompass an offender in much the same way that Spiderman uses his web to cocoon criminals.

Sound is also being used in crowd control situations. The Long-Range Acoustic Device uses high-frequency sound waves to disable victims. Devices like this were successfully deployed by the New York Police Department during the disturbances around the Republican National Convention in 2004.

PepperBall Technologies, a producer of less-lethal weapons solutions, has expanded its range to include a new PepperBall FlashLauncher.

FlashLauncher can launch up to five PepperBall projectiles with semi-automatic action and incorporates a high-utility, rechargeable flashlight. FlashLauncher is designed to provide safe and effective results through painful impact and release of hot pepper powder from the projectiles. This combination is designed to stun and incapacitate would-be assailants giving authorised personnel a tactical advantage that enhances officer safety at the incident.

Related News

Select Vacancies

Sergeants and Detective Sergeants

Metropolitan Police Service

Police Sergeant Transferee

Merseyside Police

Police Officer Transferee

Merseyside Police

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional