However, it is known that the sight of a weapon can increase a mood of violence in any serious encounter, and an openly worn sidearm is very easy to take from a policeman who suffers a surprise attack - hence the observation that arms do not appear to add materially to police safety in some settings. An alternative is possible, that of arming most police with a slim self-loading pistol worn within a tunic designed for swift access.
With regard to the use of chemical sprays, these are prohibited weapons in the UK; this is perhaps a legacy of a social memory of their use during the First World War. Perhaps now would be the time to acknowledge their value as a means of subduing assailants who are under the influence of drink or drugs, although the use of these unergonomic aerosols against an alert and agile opponent is somewhat dubious.
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