Dispersing Crowds Of People
Despite the controversial and questionable use of military vehicles to quell social unrest recently in Ferguson, Missouri, the general uptick in civil unrest worldwide has led to a boom in the acquisition of riot control equipment by authorities far and wide in the US, Iran, Egypt, China, Russia, Thailand and more; and billions of dollars are being spent.
Perhaps it is social media that allows groups of protesters to form and grow very quickly that has authorities beefing up their equipment to deal with large crowds.
The image above shows a Riot Control Vehicle, SECPRO, on a Mercedes Benz chassis. The most sophisticated riot trucks run as high as $650,000.
Crowd Control equipment includes: custom designed bulletproof armored trucks, tear gas, pepper spray, pulsating water cannons (a tactic used extensively in the 1960’s to combat civil unrest and opposition to the Vietnam War), batons, PA systems, strobe lights, riot control plows, explosives removal equipment and more.
Riot control vehicles are designed to withstand improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rocks and Molotov cocktails.
In addition, there is a need for personal body armor to completely protect bodies from attack. These include batons, riot helmets, face visors, body armor including vests, neck protectors, and knee pads as well as gas masks.
Finally there are “Riot Control Agents (RCAs) which are non-lethal “lachrymatory substances” including teargas, burning chemicals and indelible paint (to track down rioters later). Long Range Acoustic Devices, aerial surveillance systems, police dogs, mounted police are also common.
Needless to say, all of this equipment is intended to be a nonlethal means of controlling and dispersing potentially violent crowds and protecting those who are trying to enforce the laws.
Riot control manufacturers are as diverse and widespread as the conflicts their equipment is designed to quell.
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References and related links:
- Riot Gear
- Ferguson police brace for new protests by spending thousands on riot gear | US news | The Guardian