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Police ditch CS spray for safer alternative

Police ditch CS spray for safer alternative

Tuesday 09 June 2015

Police ditch CS spray for safer alternative

Tuesday 09 June 2015

Jersey’s police are moving to a safer version of CS spray, in line with UK forces.

Officers have only used the spray 40 times since the start of 2010, but they say that the new PAVA spray is safer to use because it’s not flammable, and it’s less likely to hit other officers or bystanders.

They started using the spray in 2001 in response to officers being assaulted by individuals, some of whom were armed.

Most UK forces have moved from CS spray to the new PAVA spray – there’s no cost implication for the Jersey police because the current stock of CS spray will run out next month.

In March, the police revealed that they had used the spray 40 times since the start of 2010 – they also revealed that officers had drawn their spray cannisters 60 times, but in a third of cases, just the threat of the spray had been enough to calm the situation down.

In response to a Freedom of Information Law request, police revealed that the incidents in which the spray had been used included:

  • A man who armed himself with a knife when police were called to a domestic incident after he had argued with his mother.
  • A man who threw a hoover downstairs at police when they attended a domestic incident involving him and his girlfriend.
  • A man who was holding a meat cleaver to his girfriend’s throat.

The police added that most CS spray use was in response to groups or individuals fighting in the streets.

All police officers get annual training updates in the use of 'incapacitant' spray, which is intended to make sure that they are clear on when, and how it should be used.

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