HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c722W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use is being made in the UK of lessthan-lethal weapons technology in tackling crime, terrorism and other illegal activity. [123027]

Ms Blears

The police currently have at their disposal the L21A1 baton round for use in dealing with violent situations where there is a significant threat to life. This will include incidents of serious public disorder and circumstances where a resort to conventional ammunition may be the only other alternative.

In addition, the Association of Chief Police Officers is undertaking a limited operational pilot of Taser in five police force areas. The pilot will allow the police to explore, in greater detail, the potential benefits of the new technology.

For use in a wider operational role, CS Spray has been available to UK Police forces since 1996. Following its introduction, there was a marked decrease in officer injury rates.

The UK has well-tried and tested contingency plans developed over many years for responding to a wide range of terrorist threats. The Government does not disclose specific security measures to counter the terrorist threat.

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