Sunday, December 11, 2011

I predict a riot

Well, wouldn't you know it, the Home Office and the Police want to try out a new device that temporarily blinds rioters. A good idea in theory I guess, though their idea of temporary and mine might not gel too closely and you can bet the first person permanently blinded by it will be heading towards compo heaven.
Telegraph.
A shoulder-mounted laser that emits a blinding wall of light capable of repelling rioters is to be trialled by police under preparations to prevent a repeat of this summer's looting and arson.
The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine commando, temporarily impairs the vision of anyone who looks towards the source.
It has impressed a division of the Home Office which is testing a new range of devices because of the growing number of violent situations facing the police.
The developer, British-based Photonic Security Systems, hopes to offer the device to shipping companies to deter pirates. Similar devices have been used by ISAF troops in Afghanistan to protect convoys from insurgents.
The laser, resembling a rifle and known as an SMU 100, can dazzle and incapacitate targets up to 500m away with a wall of light up to three metres squared. It costs £25,000 and has an infrared scope to spot looters in poor visibility.
Looking at the intense beam causes a short-lived effect similar to staring at the sun, forcing the target to turn away.
"The system would give police an intimidating visual deterrent. If you can't look at something you can't attack it," said Paul Kerr, the firm's managing director, told The Sunday Times.
I wonder just what it would take for some bright spark to think that a rowdy demo is in fact a riot (in their mind) or for some pissed off copper to decide that a bunch of kids playing loudly need to be dispersed. Not saying it will happen of course, but for every tool that the police bring out, the frustration of those who do not like what the state gets up too at times grows as well.
Not that I approve of rioting or civil disruption, I just feel that in a lot of cases heavy handed policing and ridiculous laws along with a serious attitude problem in both the police and certain groups adds to a very heady brew at times and I really don't want the police to be thinking of these methods or have them deployed for use where they aren't needed. Certainly the recent riots in Tottenham and elsewhere could have been prevented or reduced in scope by the police cracking down hard initially rather than standing back. This, and 3 water cannon plus the increased training of police officers in plastic baton round training suggests simply that the government expects a lot more trouble in the future, but from whom and where remains a bit of a mystery, but if the powers that be have it, you can be sure at some stage they'll use it, probably on the wrong group at the wrong time.

10 annotations:

DerekP said...

Ah, police senior officers and intelligence units are always a step ahead of these rioters, who obviously have no way of getting their hands on whatever advanced technology can reflect light.

/sarc

Nick said...

Decent laser protection glasses aprox £12 from Arco.

tris said...

Agreed.

Mind you, whilst I'm utterly against the compensation culture that has been imported from America, and which has ruined perfectly good laws in Scotland and England alike, I think if my eyes were damaged by some idiot policeman under the orders of a commander as cerebrally challenged as Cresida Dick-Head for example, I'd be perfectly within my rights to demand compensation.

I wonder if they have worked out the long term effects, or if they have taken into account the unintended consequences of using such dangerous weaponry against their own people...

eg, riot, or rowdiness going on in street, old woman watching out her window...flash!

Or baby lying in pram... flash... blind for life.

Tessy May may go for it, but I can't see the Justice Secretary here allowing it.

They'd do absolutely anything to protect their Olympics. They get more like China every day.

Barman said...

It is amazing that you can't turn the tellybox on these days without a warning popping up that you are liable to have an epileptic fit at any moment...

... but they think this shite will work as advertised...

Utter, utter mongs...

Macheath said...

The compensation issue would be a ticking time-bomb for decades to come; who's to say whether a septegenarian's failing eyesight is due to external factors?

There's also the question of the temporarily blinded stepping in front of a moving vehicle or taking a dive down a staircase - and as for assaulting a police officer; "My client lashed out by instinct, M'Lud; he couldn't see what he was hitting."

Was this thing designed by lawyers, by any chance?

Captain Haddock said...

There's a much more simple .. and I dare say cheaper way of dispersing unruly crowds ..

Why not simply play Des O'Connor LP's at mega volume ? ..

Anyone able to withstand that, either really believes in their "cause" or is suitable to be "deemed" under the Mental Health Act & so can be removed automatically ..

"The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine Commando" ... Ha ha .. good old "Royal" ... ;)

IanPJ said...

and the rioters will start to carry....

flexible mirrors, large roll up flexible mirrors. send the light back from whence it came.

StourbridgeRantBoy said...

Police Intelligence - Todays oxymoron.......

andy said...

How long before dissenters decide to forego peaceful protests and just attack the police before the police attack them?
As an ex-soldier who gladly enlisted to defend this land the thought of taking up arms against my own govt was always anathema to me, but these days I`m starting to think that our real enemies are in Whitehall and Westminster and the police are our own homegrown Gestapo.

tris said...

Andy: I agree. It used to be policing by consent; not it's Cameron's (and before Brown's) army against people who hate him.

It's a frightening thought, but they just won't listen to people saying that what they are doing is wrong and unfair.

And they use the police and their friendly press to enforce and to spread their lies.