A weapon designed to be used by police to incapacitate rioters more than 100 feet away is in the final stages of Home Office testing.
The Discriminating Irritant Projectile (DIP) can be fired from baton guns and contains CS particles - the defining component found in tear gas - in its nose which the Home Office hopes can be used as a non-lethal but highly targeted weapon.
It is now undergoing advanced trials and is intended to be used to quell riots and other outbreaks of public disorder. Its development was prioritised in the wake of the 2011 summer riots in London and other cities.
Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Simon Chesterman, the lead officer on firearms for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the weapon has the potential to offer police a range of new tactics when confronted by public disorder.
“The range of a Taser is 21 feet – if there is an operational requirement to incapacitate somebody at a distance, the DIP can be deployed from up to 131 feet away,” the West Mercia Police DCC told PoliceOracle.com.
“The Discriminating Irritant Projectile can be fired from a baton gun and has a quantity of micronised CS in the nose cone.”
The range of the projectile is more than 4.5 times the length of a London Routemaster bus.
Other non-lethal weapons being tested for police use during riots include sound-emitting devices. He added: “Clearly we have been looking at means of controlling disorder. You could achieve this if you make an area unpleasant in the first instance.”