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Use of pepper spray in policing : retrospective study of situational characteristics and implications for violent situations

Bertilsson, J. LU ; Petersson, U.; Fredriksson, P. J.; Magnusson, Måns LU and Fransson, P. A. LU (2017) In Police Practice and Research 18(4). p.391-406
Abstract

Pepper spray (OC) is a policing tool aimed to prevent or stop aggressive behavior by quickly and temporarily incapacitate without injuring. To date, few studies have investigated OC’s operational usefulness and limitations. OC reduced violent behavior in 93% of the 936 incidents investigated. However, the operative range was often <2 m and it took between 3 and 5 s of spraying before obtaining effect, partly owing to the difficulties of hitting a small, sometimes erratically moving target. Collateral hits were noted in 24% of the incidents, whereof 90% were other officers. Noteworthy, in 21% of incidents officers put themselves at large personal risk by using OC at close range against people armed with lethal weapons. Hence, OC... (More)

Pepper spray (OC) is a policing tool aimed to prevent or stop aggressive behavior by quickly and temporarily incapacitate without injuring. To date, few studies have investigated OC’s operational usefulness and limitations. OC reduced violent behavior in 93% of the 936 incidents investigated. However, the operative range was often <2 m and it took between 3 and 5 s of spraying before obtaining effect, partly owing to the difficulties of hitting a small, sometimes erratically moving target. Collateral hits were noted in 24% of the incidents, whereof 90% were other officers. Noteworthy, in 21% of incidents officers put themselves at large personal risk by using OC at close range against people armed with lethal weapons. Hence, OC emerges as a suitable tool for handling low threat situations but lacks key traits to ensure safe and efficient policing of high threat situations, e.g., handling armed assailants.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
efficiency ratio, Oleoresin capsicum, pepper spray, policing, psychomotor effects
in
Police Practice and Research
volume
18
issue
4
pages
16 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85011632849
  • wos:000399922100006
ISSN
1561-4263
DOI
10.1080/15614263.2017.1288119
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0c586251-5329-4069-82bb-e65f06ae8f9a
date added to LUP
2017-02-20 09:37:45
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:51:02
@article{0c586251-5329-4069-82bb-e65f06ae8f9a,
  abstract     = {<p>Pepper spray (OC) is a policing tool aimed to prevent or stop aggressive behavior by quickly and temporarily incapacitate without injuring. To date, few studies have investigated OC’s operational usefulness and limitations. OC reduced violent behavior in 93% of the 936 incidents investigated. However, the operative range was often &lt;2 m and it took between 3 and 5 s of spraying before obtaining effect, partly owing to the difficulties of hitting a small, sometimes erratically moving target. Collateral hits were noted in 24% of the incidents, whereof 90% were other officers. Noteworthy, in 21% of incidents officers put themselves at large personal risk by using OC at close range against people armed with lethal weapons. Hence, OC emerges as a suitable tool for handling low threat situations but lacks key traits to ensure safe and efficient policing of high threat situations, e.g., handling armed assailants.</p>},
  author       = {Bertilsson, J. and Petersson, U. and Fredriksson, P. J. and Magnusson, Måns and Fransson, P. A.},
  issn         = {1561-4263},
  keyword      = {efficiency ratio,Oleoresin capsicum,pepper spray,policing,psychomotor effects},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {391--406},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Police Practice and Research},
  title        = {Use of pepper spray in policing : retrospective study of situational characteristics and implications for violent situations},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2017.1288119},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2017},
}