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#109885 - 04/09/03 11:38 AM Less than deadly force
Cato Offline

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
At the moment there is a real dilemma in the UK as to what can fill the void between cs incapacitant spray and the use of deadly force. How exactly can you control a non compliant offender when you cs/pepper spray has failed or is inappropriate?

I'm thinking specifically of the unco operative armed man who keeps his firearm by his side but wont do as he is asked by police officers. Obviously he isn't an immediate threat, so deadly force is not yet an option, but he is potentially a serious threat, especially if he is walking away. What is an acceptable way to detain him safely?

#109886 - 04/12/03 07:10 PM Re: Less than deadly force
raccoon Offline

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 848
Loc: Victoria BC Canada
Good question. I have nothing to contribute to answer your question, but perhaps I can point out there are good reasons to be concerned...

A real story I came across on the net. I only copied and pasted what I view as relevant to this post. You can read the whole article at

Herzog, who was wearing a protective vest, had been sent to the Newport Crossing Apartments at 7311 Coal Creek Parkway S.E. in Newcastle, southeast of Bellevue, just after 5 p.m. in response to a report of a naked man dodging cars in the street.

Newcastle contracts with the county to provide police service. Herzog had worked in the six-man department the past two years, said Newcastle Police Chief Shawn Ledford.

Herzog was the only officer on duty at the time, Ledford said.

"That's not unusual," the chief added. "It varies; sometimes we have two people on per shift, sometimes one."

Ledford said Herzog, after arriving, called for backup from the sheriff's office, which patrols surrounding unincorporated areas. Ledford didn't know if Herzog had called before or after he got out of his car.

Witnesses and police say the deputy got out of his car and attempted to calm Matthews, who had been wandering through traffic and had stood in front of a Metro bus.

Moments later, the deputy sprayed the naked man with pepper spray to try to subdue him.

According to witnesses, the two scuffled and the man grabbed Herzog's .40-caliber semiautomatic Glock handgun.

Herzog retreated, and police and witnesses say the assailant repeatedly shot him. Some witnesses said the man stood over the fallen deputy and fired several times from nearly point-blank range.

"It certainly appears," Reichert said, "that Deputy Herzog was executed."

So... I, too, would be curious to know what are the LEOs options when their pepper spray fails, which DOES happen.

[This message has been edited by raccoon (edited 04-12-2003).]

#109887 - 04/18/03 05:42 AM Re: Less than deadly force

I would not be a LEO in the UK even for a ridiculously huge salary.
I appreciate that even the worst criminals are entitled to their basic human rights (although some of them behave in a less than human fashion), but the laws in the UK seem to protect the criminals more than LEOs or the victims.
My personal opinion is that if a police officer tells someone to stop and they refuse, extreme force SHOULD be allowed if they perceive that person to be a danger to society.
I know an idiot who was questioned about an incident by police on his doorstep (it turned out to be mistaken identity, and he had a cast iron alibi, so he had nothing to lose by co-operating) The police asked if they could search his car and he refused, using profane language. They told him they were placing him under arrest and he turned violent, injuring one of them quite seriously before he was restrained.
It would have taken half an hour to search the car, instead, he spent the night in a cell whilst they got a warrant, but he had the last laugh because all he got was a fine and a warning.
Until the police are given more power, I don't know what the answer is Cato. but I hope one is found soon, the UK is becoming a more and more dangerous place to live.

#109888 - 04/19/03 01:07 PM Re: Less than deadly force
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
I saw on the news that a local Force is trialing the Tazer, I believe it was Northants.

It would appear that these are deployed alongside firearm officers. I have also seen reports on portable water cannon and baton guns, which fire soft rounds, or bean bags. How effective these would be, I'm not sure.

In my own experience, if the cherub doesn't surrender, he gets....erm...dealt with.

This of course is not deadly force, and I think it would be wrong to expect our LEOs to make a decision to kill another, especially if there was a less fatal solution.


#109889 - 04/19/03 02:14 PM Re: Less than deadly force

I totally agree Judderman, ".......if there was a less fatal solution"

But only if.


#109890 - 04/27/03 02:30 AM Re: Less than deadly force
NYCRonin Offline

Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 16
Loc: Bklyn. N.Y.
I have seen OC (P.spray) fail a number of times in use offorce situations on Rikers Island - and NONE of the 'unaffected' was unaffected - the OC just did not drop them. It did screw with their vision and breathing, even though they were able to continue assaultive responses. An individual armed with a weapon (particularly firearm) must be dealt with conclusively. The situations vary greatly, as does the responding officers skill level. Too may variables to say 'this is what you do'.

#109891 - 05/03/03 02:56 AM Re: Less than deadly force
James Webster Offline

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 4
Loc: NRH, Texas, USA
I'm not sure about the UK but here in the USA (Texas to be more precise) we have a few less lethal tools at our disposal. While I do carry OC spray on my belt it has been my experience that it is not an wise choice. Looking back on every situation where either I used the OC spray or another officer used it I must say that the situation could have turned disasterous. The problem with OC spray (in my opinion) is that because we as officers are usually very close to the violator we are also affected by the spray. Now I don't know about you guys but I think that wrestling on the ground with a large man who doesn't want to go to jail is hard enough without burning, watery eyes and having to gasp for air added to the equation.

I am a municipal police officer (aka: city cop) and at my department we have a small variety of less lethal options: OC spray (of course), 12 gauge sock rounds (small bean bags) for our shotguns, Tasers, and expandable batons. The Tasers work great however you must let the violator get close enough to you in order for it to work. The same with the expandable baton.

We divide our force options into three (3) levels. One = Passive/non-compliant in which case we will only use some unarmed restraining and handcuffing techniques such as "PPCT" and "Controlled Force". Two = Agressive/non-compliant & unarmed in which case we will use some defensive blocks and offensive strikes from Tony Blauer's "SPEAR". Also we can use our OC spray, Taser and or expandable baton at this 2nd level. Third = Agressive/non-compliant & armed in which cae deadly force is authorized.

I have only heard of the 12 gauge sock rounds being used when a person was threatening to commit suicide and they supposedly work like a charm every time.

PS - I just found this forum and I will definately add it to my favorites. I personally practice Hapkido but I am also trained in police defensive tactics.

#109892 - 05/04/03 08:11 PM Re: Less than deadly force
Cato Offline

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Thanks everyone. It is interesting to learn from others experience what actually works and what doesn't. I know we've tried experimenting with bean bag rounds, but the powers that be were apparently not impressed. Too high a failure rate it seems. We are, as Juds said, now looking at tazers, and again the civil liberties people are raising concerns about its use, so time will tell. In the meantime we'll just keep muddling through and hoping for the best I suppose.

Nice to see so many professionals from a variety of services visiting the site.

Budo, and take care all.

#109893 - 05/16/03 07:27 AM Re: Less than deadly force
kman Offline

Registered: 05/15/03
Posts: 368
Loc: minnesota
so Wadoman,,why were they insisting on searching the car of a man with a "cast iron alibi"? The security comapany i work for has recently fielded the new m26 taser. It's a great force option in the pain compliance field(along with pepper) it will drop and imobilize anyone for as long as the batteries will hold out and has the added bonus of creating no physical injury. Although after being shocked in training I can tell you that a prolonged shock might is a significant psychological event.

#109894 - 05/16/03 01:21 PM Re: Less than deadly force
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
[QUOTE]Originally posted by kman:
so Wadoman,,why were they insisting on searching the car of a man with a "cast iron alibi"? [/QUOTE]

So kman.

Why do YOU think they might insist on searching the car of a man with a "cast iron alibi"?

Perhaps the use of pain compliance is not enough. Perhaps the idea is to render the assailant powerless to react. Spreay in the eyes is an effective method. Bean bag/baton guns also. Jury is out on "electricution".


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