HC Deb 01 March 2000 vol 345 c287W
Mrs. Brinton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will suspend the use of CS spray on people known to be in mental distress until research into the effects of CS on people using neuroleptic drugs has been carried out. [111803]

Mr. Charles Clarke

Police officers need some means of protection against attacks, even when committed by people who are mentally disturbed, and the safety of CS spray to all concerned must be compared with that of alternatives, such as physical restraint or use of batons, which themselves involve an element of risk. Nor is it always clear when an attacker is suffering from a mental disorder which might require medication. The Guidance on the use of CS spray in such circumstances are set out in paragraphs 6.5, 8.4 and 8.5 of the guidance published by the Association of Chief Police Officers on this subject, a copy of which is in the Library.