Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:33AM
The British police are considering plans to fire projectiles containing chemical irritants at people involved in any future unrest as the country’s Home Office is developing the new weapons. The Home Office’s centre for applied science and technology (Cast) has developed a new weapon known as the Discriminating Irritant Projectile (Dip) to be fired by the British police during any future unrest across Britain, reported the Guardian. The newspaper revealed that following the unprecedented unrest which swept across Britain in August, Cast, a corps of scientists and engineers who develop new technologies for the police, held a “brainstorming” event in October to discuss new ways of tackling any potential unrest. Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Guardian obtained the briefing for the brainstorming event which was released for the police in Northern Ireland. The briefing notes showed that participants taking part in the brainstorming session concluded “No ideas [are] too stupid or ‘off the wall’ to consider”. Participants in the session included police from London and Northern Ireland, the Police Federation, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Ministry of Defence's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Last year in December, reports went viral about the British police’s decision to make use of a laser gun which would temporarily blind anyone who is caught in its beam of light. Furthermore, in November last year, for the first time on the British mainland, the British police authorized the firing of rubber bullets at student protesters. Nevertheless, while the British police are heavily criticized for their militarized use of Taser guns, tear gas, pepper spray, batons, rubber bullets, and kettling tactics, Britain’s Home Office has said police suffer from a “capability gap” due to the short range of their weapons. ISH/MB/HE