Police to use bullets that 'petal' for more impact

Officers need to stop terrorists immediately, without worrying whether the round will penetrate through and hit a bystander

Lewis Smith
Thursday 12 May 2011 00:00

Bullets similar to illegal dum-dum ammunition and designed to cause catastrophic injury are to be used as standard by police marksmen in London. Senior officers at the Metropolitan Police have selected the bullet because it is better at incapacitating a target and is less likely to pass through the body to hit someone else.

The bullet is similar those used to kill Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian man shot by police who mistook him for a terrorist at Stockwell Tube station in July 2005.

Like the dum-dums, banned by the Hague Convention of 1899, the new jacketed hollow-point ammunition expands on entry to a body. Police used the term "petals" to describe the effect of the bullet opening out like a flower on impact but said it "should never be referred to as 'dum-dum', a slang term for ammunition deliberately and illegally altered by criminals to cause maximum injury and suffering".

One advantage of the bullet, said police, is that it does not fragment so medics can retrieve it in one piece. But the injuries are often so devastating the target is unlikely to live.

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