Police Uniforms and Equipment in The United Kingdom - Protective Equipment - Batons


Until the mid-1990s, most police forces utilised a 14 inch long traditional wooden truncheon. It was replaced by long American-style batons, but in many places these were short lived, mainly due to their being unwieldy in most operational circumstances.

The use of batons varies across the country, and each force selects which baton is best able to fulfil its needs and provide the best protection to officers. Expandable batons, such as the friction lock ASP are popular, although the PR-24 Monadnock (a side-handled baton) or the Monadnock Straight Lock baton is used in some forces. Some forces in the North of England use a one-piece "Arnold" baton, and other officers can choose to use this style of baton, after passing the appropriate training however now all police forces carry asp moadknock or casco batons.

Batons are offensive weapons; the following are offences under the Criminal Justice Act 1988:

  • manufacturing,
  • selling or hiring,
  • offering for sale or hire,
  • exposing having in your possession for the purpose of sale or hire,
  • lending,
  • giving to any other person, or
  • importing

an offensive weapon. The list of weapons regarded as offensive for the purposes of the act includes "straight, side-handled or friction-lock truncheons (sometimes known as a batons)" in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Amendment) Order 2004 and "telescopic truncheons" in the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) Order 1988. The restrictions on the activities listed above do not apply "for the purposes of functions carried out on behalf of the Crown", which includes water bailiffs, immigration officers and police constables. In addition, police constables have "lawful authority" to possess batons.

Read more about this topic:  Police Uniforms And Equipment In The United Kingdom, Protective Equipment

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