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Police to Expand Use of Tear Gas Sprayers

Posted March. 17, 2009 09:23,   


Police will distribute tear gas sprayers to all anti-crime personnel for use in suppressing illegal violent demonstrators.

This was announced yesterday in a National Police Agency report submitted to Rep. Shin Ji-ho of the ruling Grand National Party, a member of the National Assembly Committee on Public Administration and Security.

The report said police “have instructed all crime prevention squads to distribute tear gas sprayers to troops soon for use at all sites of violent demonstrations.”

It added that 880 sprayers have been distributed to 46 police units.

The tear gas sprayer is a portable device designed to transform capsaicin, a hot substance, into a liquid and spray it. In Western countries such as the United States and France, police use the device when arresting criminals and suppressing protesters.

Responding to Rep. Shin’s written inquiry about why police failed to use a tear gas sprayer when protesters beat policemen in a March 7 demonstration, the police agency said, “They weren`t used because the sprayers had not been distributed to crime prevention troops dispatched to the scene.”

Police will also revise guidelines on the use of such sprayers to allow anti-riot forces to use them at demonstrations.

Existing regulations require that police spray a minimal amount of tear gas only to specific physical areas under the direction of supervising officials at the scene, and that in principle, policemen and the heads of riot police platoons who are ordered to use the device do so only after issuing a warning.