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Uniform Choice

To all of you who spend three hours a day gurgling over which selection of pastel-shade charity shop tat you’re going to wear for your loser job, just take a look at this and realize how often cops take one look at you and think: “You haven’t even been...
VICE Staff
Κείμενο VICE Staff
1.6.06

What a great look! To all of you who spend three hours a day gurgling over which selection of pastel-shade charity shop tat you’re going to wear for your six hours-a-day part-time loser job, just take a look at this and realise how often cops take one look at you and think: “You haven’t even been born.”

Photos by Naughty James

Utility belt: Made from heavy-duty thick leather and fastened with a secure buckle that can’t be undone by an over-excited ASBO. Officers carry a selection of equipment designed to help the carry out duties from stop and search to helping an injured person to a live action incident where they have to restrain a violent suspect.

Torch:

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Held in a leather case. This is short, metal and has a bright high-range bulb (a bit like a Maglite if you’re into collecting knives and lighters)

Guns:

The Tactical Firearms Unit are routinely armed with Glock 23 handguns. Glock claim to have racked up 2.5 million in sales worldwide. Renowned for its reliability, the model 23 fires a 10mm round and is used by the FBI, German counter-terrorism unit GSG-9 and new Iraqi security forces. It weighs a mere 670 grams without a magazine and, in spite of Hollywood claims, it does set off metal detects due to its steel barrel. Other firearms carried by the TFU include the 800 rounds-a-minute, Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun and the controversial TAZAR stun guns, that in spite of its “non-lethal” claim, has contributed to 73 deaths worldwide between 1999 and 2004.

Handcuffs:

British-made Speedcuffs by Hiatts, they’re a conventional racket design with a rigid metal centre and black plastic grip over the top for when an excitable prisoner is “out of control.” During training, officers are taught to use four restraint positions, termed “front stack”, one hand on top of the other, “palm to palm”, like upside down praying, “rear stack” same as front stack but behind your back and “back to back,” seen as the most restricting.

CS Gas:

Or to give its real name, 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile. The C and S initials stands for the two American guys who discovered it, Ben Carson and Roger Staughton. Sometimes confused with tear gas, this nasty shit is intended to “subdue” and only used as a last resort. The chemical reacts with moisture on the skin and in the eyes causing a burning sensation that forces your eyes to close. Reported effects can include tears streaming from the eyes, running nose full of mucus, burning in the nose and throat areas, disorientation, dizziness and restricted breathing. In highly concentrated doses it can also induce severe coughing and vomiting. It was banned from use as a chemical weapon of war in 1997, but police forces the world over maintain its harmless effects are safe in small doses i.e. a squirt from this canister.

Asp or baton:

The Monadnock Autolock is an extendable three-tier baton. It’s small to carry but fully extended with a swift sharp throw of the hand to its full length. The small ball end is designed to reverberate effectively, doubling its impact when used. You don’t want to be on the receiving end as this carefully weighted weapon cracks a rib or forearm, although we were assured that they’re probably used more to break car windows when somebody has locked their keys inside the vehicle. D’uh.

First Aid kit:

This isn’t compulsory to carry, but has obvious benefits. Includes rubber gloves, scissors, plasters, antiseptic cream and painkillers.