Police officers in the United Kingdom carry various essential items on their belts to help them perform their duties effectively and safely. The standard equipment typically includes handcuffs, batons, and pava spray, among other items.
While uniformed officers often use a duty belt or attach pouches to their stab vests to store and organise their gear, plain clothes officers may use a harness that can be worn under clothes for a more discreet appearance. This variety of equipment is designed to cover various situations that officers may encounter while on duty.
Recently, there has been a shift towards using carry systems on stab vests to distribute the weight more evenly, easing the burden on officers carrying these essential items throughout their shifts. The items carried by police officers in the UK are designed to prioritise non-lethal forms of defence while ensuring officer safety and public protection.
Common Equipment on UK Police Belts
UK police officers carry various essential items on their belts while on duty. These items enable them to carry out their jobs effectively and safely. In this section, let’s explore different equipment that is commonly found on the belts of police officers in the UK.
Handcuffs are a crucial piece of equipment for police officers. They are used to secure suspects and ensure their safety during arrest and transportation. The standard handcuffs used by officers in the UK are Hiatts handcuffs known for their durability and reliability.
The baton is another essential piece of equipment carried by police officers. The common type of baton used in the UK is an extendable or collapsible baton. Batons are used as a means of protection and can be employed to subdue aggressive individuals when necessary. They can also be used as a defensive tool to protect the officer if required.
PAVA spray is an incapacitant spray carried by officers on their belts. It is used to temporarily disable a potentially dangerous individual, allowing the officer to restrain or arrest them safely. PAVA spray is a common item on police belts and is an essential tool for ensuring the safety of both officers and the public.
Other equipment commonly carried on UK police belts includes radios, torches, keys, multi-tools, and personal protection devices such as tasers for taser-trained officers. All this equipment enables officers to perform their duties effectively while ensuring the safety of themselves, fellow officers, and the general public.
Taser-trained officers carry either an X26 or X2 taser on their belts. Tasers are considered a useful tool in subduing violent or threatening individuals without resorting to lethal force. They work by delivering an electric shock to the target, causing temporary incapacitation and allowing officers to take control of the situation.
Although most police officers in the UK do not carry firearms, there are specially trained and authorised firearms officers who carry various types of guns. These can include handguns (self-loading pistols), carbines, tactical rifles, and precision rifles fitted with telescopic sights. These weapons are used in high-risk situations where a significant threat is present, and their usage is strictly controlled and regulated.
Police officers in the UK often carry a range of essential items in utility pouches on their duty belts. Some of the common equipment found in these pouches includes:
- First Aid Kit
- Leg restraints