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What is the A3P3 gun that the police are going to be given in this country

00:00 Wed 11th Apr 2001 |

asks Woolley:

A. At the moment, it's not at all certain that the police in this country will get the A3P3.

Q. What is it

A. It's a non-lethal 'supergun' that has been developed in the US for keeping order during riots.

Q. What does it do
A.
It uses a combination of electric shocks, pepper spray and video surveillance technology to subdue an attacker.

Q. Sounds like something Judge Dredd would use. How does it work
A.
The A3P3 uses sensors to judge how far away the attacker is, and sprays just the right amount of cayenne pepper spray to disable them. The tiny video camera transmits pictures of the attacker back to the police HQ, which can both help to convict criminals and reduce the chances of the police being sued. If the going gets tough, the A3P3 can give an electric shock which forces the attacker to inhale even more pepper spray. And if the attack continues after that, electric pads under the police officer's clothes will give the attacker even more shocks.

Q.�Pretty gruesome. What does A3P3 stand for
A.
A3 stands for Aerosol Arresting Agent, and P3 for Pulse Projected Plume. The gun was developed by the Non-Lethal Defence Corporation, an American firm that specialises in 'defence management'.

Q. How long before it's used here
A.
First it would have to undergo trials. Currently, police in this country are not allowed to carry pepper sprays, but alternative sprays are being tested. The Police Federation is urging the Home Office to back these trials because it believes that the gun could make batons, plastic bullets and CS gas obsolete. The Home Office is getting a lot of pressure to come up with non-lethal weapons to stave off calls for police to carry guns. And in the US, the manufacturers think a version of it could be used at home, especially for those who live in fear of domestic violence.

Q. Sounds extreme...
A.
It does, but it's safer than a handgun. At the moment, 13 children in the US die each day because a gun has been fired accidentally.

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By Sheena Miller

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