Skunk oil could be used to stop rioters as officials say 'no idea's too stupid'
PUBLISHED April 10, 2012
The methods are outlined in a high-level briefing paper that makes clear: "No idea's too stupid or 'off the wall' to consider."
Scienists hope that being struck with pellets containing foul-smelling liquids would make rioters want to go home and change their clothes as well as causing fellow troublemakers to shun them.
There was also said to be a need for anti-laser technology after beams were used by protesters in Greece to dazzle police.
The ideas were produced following a brainstorming event, convened by the Home Office's centre for applied science and technology (Cast) last autumn in the wake of the widespread disorder over the summer, it was reported.
Participants included police from London and Northern Ireland as well as the Police Federation, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Ministry of Defence's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
Details obtained by the Guardian under freedom of information law revealed how last year's disorder had sparked a major impetus for research into new-generation riot control technology.
Among the ideas described were projectiles containing chemical irritants that would be fired by police and that are now in the final stages of development and intended to replace plastic bullets, according to the briefing.
The Discriminating Irritant Projectiles (Dips) being developed by Cast would be loaded into guns that are currently used for plastic bullets and intended to be accurate at a range of 65 metres. Dips would be loaded with irritants such as CS gas or pepper spray.
Also described in the briefing - The Development of New Less Lethal Technologies - is the need for police to develop "counter laser dazzle" technology. It follows the use of laser beams by rioters in Greece.
One proposed weapon said to have sparked particular interest among officers was the use of so-called "skunk oil".
It would involves pellets containg malodorous liquid being fired at rioters from weapons similar to paintball guns.