Journal Article

<i>Continuing the Discussion on Use of Force, Issue 3</i>Policing & the Use of Force: Less-lethal Weapons

Brian Rappert

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 1, issue 4, pages 472-484
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Continuing the Discussion on Use of Force, Issue 3Policing & the Use of Force: Less-lethal Weapons

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In recent years, considerable attention has been given to the role of ‘less-lethal’ options in alleviating the varied problems associated with the use of police force. Highly supportive claims have been made by manufacturers, police agencies, and others relating to the ability of such devices in reducing injuries to both officers and members of the public. Issue 3 of Policing focussed on the ‘Use of Force’ and included various positive statements about the place and purpose of less-lethal weapons. Although not wishing to completely dismiss such claims, this article seeks to scrutinize these claims. This article serves to recast common depictions of these weapons within the spectrum of force options, considering the past history of their deployment, and moving beyond treating them in a narrow, technical manner.

Journal Article.  6689 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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