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Police: Weapons

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance is issued to police forces on the procedures and protocols to be followed by police officers in the use of incapacitant spray; and what codes of practice are in force. (204631)

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: The Association of Chief Police Officers issued guidance on the use of incapacitant spray in September 2006 providing police officers and other police staff with an overarching, generic approach to the use of incapacitant spray to underpin the specific training provided to all staff issued with incapacitant spray. The code of practice for police use of firearms and less lethal weapons issued in 2003 applies to incapacitant sprays as any other less lethal weapon.

The Home Office Scientific Development Branch also issues a technical standard for CS and PAVA sprays for operational police use to ensure incapacitant sprays supplied to the police are manufactured to a consistent standard and are designed to meet operational requirements. The standard was last updated in 2005 and will be updated again in 2008.