After protests from environmentalists, Gloucestershire Police are to stop using CS gas sprays on violent suspects and will carry a deodorant-style roll-on version instead. A leaked memo sent to area commanders gives details of how suspects must be told to get their hands up so trained officers can move in rapidly to apply the roll-on to one or both exposed armpits. Within seconds, the roll-on causes nausea, vomiting and streaming eyes while its sandalwood-and-musk scent creates a disabling degree of social embarrassment that can last several hours.
Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace called for CS Gas aerosols to be withdrawn after research showed that their use during the G20 summit in London led to high levels of airborne toxins and could damage the ozone layer. ‘We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously,’ said Gloucestershire’s assistant chief constable Derek Hill. ‘The idea of the roll-on CS Gas applicator came to me in the bath one morning.
It’s cheap, fits easily in a pocket or handbag and is easy to get refills for, whereas we normally throw the empty CS spray cans into a fire where they often explode dangerously.’
In a move to cut costs, police in more rural areas of the county are to be issued with abbatoir-style bolt guns to tackle potentially violent offenders instead of the more sophisticated but less effective Tazer stun device. ACC Hill said: ‘Applied to the forehead, the bolt guns will save us many thousands of pounds a year, particularly in the controversial area of failed prosecutions. Research shows that many of the suspects we use them on won’t regain consciousness until the Statute of Limitations has expired, if indeed they wake up at all.’