And well done to Plod here

Children as young as four were accidentally sprayed with hot chilli riot spray by police during a school visit.

Officers from Gwent Police visited Gilfach Fargoed primary school, in Bargoed, Caerphilly county, and gave a lesson on equipment used by the force on Wednesday.

But instead of demonstrating a mock PAVA spray, which replaced CS spray, officers discharged a real canister causing panic among the infants.

The spray, used on eight pupils aged four and five, causes the eyes to close and is extremely painful.

Well done I say, well done.

25 thoughts on “And well done to Plod here”

  1. I wonder if some of the teachers asked the police: “Leave a couple of cans of the real stuff officer, there are some unruly kids in year 11 we want to use it on.”

  2. This would be the same Gwent police who recently murdered a suspect using a taser?

    They really do seem to combine incompetence with malevolence to a degree matched only by South Yorkshire.

    Fucking useless and dangerous? what a nightmare. Still we can be reassured – lessons will be learned.

  3. BiI: “This would be the same Gwent police who recently murdered a suspect using a taser?”

    A death by taser would be manslaughter, as it’s not an intended death.

    Though if you’re talking about the just- out- of- prison druggie who ate a girl’s face, I think we’d all be happy if they’d kept their finger on the trigger until the battery drained…

  4. I can’t understand what was going on here. Mislabelled device? Who knows.

    Re firearms, actual highly trained people, including members of the SAS, have had accidents with them.

    That’s because people are fallible. The more training you have the less fallible you get, but until they replace people with cyborgs, or standard rounds with some sort of smart bullet, you’ll always have accidents, no matter how much training you do.

    Most sensible people might extrapolate from the fact that the cops occasionally shoot people accidentally that if weapons were in the hands of the masses more people would be shot accidentally, not that it logically follows that the populace should be armed.

    I’m not saying current firearm laws make sense, just that the logic is wanting a little.

  5. Interested,

    That’s also the standard argument for not giving plod guns. Unlike in the US, our police officers don’t routinely walk around carrying handguns. That way they aren’t fired by accident, and they aren’t lost only to fall into the hands of the bad guys.

    In recent years we’ve had more armed officers, and unsurprisingly more firearms incidents.

  6. Interested, it’s good that you feel the need to run interference for the police by suggesting mislabelling of equipment as a cause, but please note, the last time they shot someone (one of their own civvie staff) it was because their trained firearms demonstrator kept mixed live & blank ammo in an old Quality Street tin.

    And it’s not so much a case of ‘we should all go strapped because..’ as it is a case of refuting the frequent police whinges that guns are ever so dangerous & the public can’t be trusted unlike the police…

  7. Interested,

    > Most sensible people might extrapolate from the fact that the cops occasionally shoot people accidentally that if weapons were in the hands of the masses more people would be shot accidentally, not that it logically follows that the populace should be armed.

    I’d’ve thought sensible people wouldn’t bother with extrapolation when actual statistics are available. In the US, contrary to what Europeans like to think, the public face a bigger danger from accidental shooting by the police and various agencies’ swat teams than by armed members of the public.

  8. My response to the police’s attitude to the public even defending themselves, let alone arming themselves, is that a condition of taking on absolute responsibility for defending us and denying us the right to defend ourselves is that you do the job perfectly. Not just well, perfectly. If I’m allowed to defend myself, fine, I can give that a try and maybe screw it up. If I am legally forced to rely 100% on the police — facing harassment and possible prosecution if I try it myself — then, to justify that, they have to never fuck it up. Every time they fuck up, they destroy their own argument against letting me do it myself.

    In this case, they’ve fucked up. If they catch a member of the public even owning this spray, they arrest them. But they’re allowed to spray it on four-year-olds and just apologise? Fuck the apology. If I were one of the parents or teachers, I’d be insisting that the officers concerned are arrested and prosecuted. You know, like we would be, by them, if we did it.

  9. “Most sensible people might extrapolate from the fact that the cops occasionally shoot people accidentally that if weapons were in the hands of the masses more people would be shot accidentally, not that it logically follows that the populace should be armed.”

    It’s quite true that if more weapons were in the hands of the masses then more people would be shot accidentally, in the same sense that if more people drive cars, there will be more car accidents, if more people are given access to matches there will be more accidental fires and burns, and if more people own kitchen knives there will be more people having accidents with kitchen knives. Same with ladders and falling from heights, electricity, gas, bleach, drain cleaner, power tools, pesticides, and shoe laces.

    The illogic is in the step from “this is dangerous” to “we must therefore ban it”. (Control it, regulate it, issue only to the competent trained elite minority of ‘people like us’…)

    The arguments for allowing guns are the same as for any other dangerous product, like kitchen knives. They’re sometimes useful, people like using them, the vast, vast majority of people are sensible and competent and won’t abuse them, and those that would do tend to be quite determined in their intentions and would just find some other way.

    The aim of the totalitarian is to render the general public helpless, and make them utterly dependent on state-approved authorities for all exercise of power.

    Not that I’ve got any particular hankering for a world where people carry guns and knives (or feel any need to). I just don’t like the mentality of “this is dangerous, therefore we must ban it for everyone not approved by authority for people’s own good”.

  10. The whole “the police protect you so you don’t need to protect yourself” thing is a bad joke. In the USA it was established by court case in 1873 (if memory “protects and serves”) that the police are agents of the state and have no obligation to protect the public. Nor can they be sued if they fail to do so. I believe the same is established by a court over here but I can’t quote details.
    They mostly show up to draw a chalk outline around your body. We should all be heeled all the time.

  11. NiV: The real reason “they” don’t want us to have guns is that a well-armed populace who won’t take any shit from criminal scum might just decide they aren’t going to take any more shit from political scum either.

  12. Mr Ecks,

    It’s more subtle than that. It’s so that people will come to love Big Brother for the way he protects and assists the helpless.

    Which a lot of people do.

  13. NiV,

    > It’s quite true that if more weapons were in the hands of the masses then more people would be shot accidentally

    That’s arguable, actually. If more weapons are in the hands of everybody, then more people are shot accidentally. But what the stats from the US show is that trained professionals have a higher accident rate than ordinary members of the public. No doubt that is partly because professionals are far more likely to be using the weapons in the first place, and are likely to be using them against criminals who are not so considerate as to require shooting in safe areas away from bystanders. Which is fair enough. There is also a theory that the very knowledge that you’re a trained professional on the side of the angels makes you more reckless, which would be less fair enough.

    Anyway, we also know from US stats — comparing different states — that an armed populace decreases violent crime rates. It therefore presumably decreases the prevalence of incidents in which the trained professionals have to use their weapons. Therefore, arming the populace, though it no doubt increases the number of accidental shootings committed by the general public, should also decrease the number of accidental shootings by the trained professionals, who we know have a higher likelihood of committing accidental shootings.

    I have no idea whether those influences balance out in a net increase or a net decrease. But no, it doesn’t automatically follow that arming the general populace increases accidental shootings.

    > in the same sense that if more people drive cars, there will be more car accidents

    A good example, that, since it turns out that driving is another of those things where trained professionals have a higher accident rate than the general public. Much higher.

  14. SQ2
    When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. Except when they ambush you: then they’ll shoot you.

  15. bloke (not) in spain

    There was a story in yesterday’s Telegraph on the young lass injured when one of the “thugs with guns” accidentally discharged his weapon at some sort of police open day.
    WTF’s going on when they’re demonstrating paramilitary policing to toddlers? Instilling a lifetime fear of the power of the men in blue?
    Now try & explain to me why any copper needs to be carrying an operative pepper spray/loaded weapon in the presence of kids?
    British police aren’t responsible enough to be issued with firearms. Someone should take their toys away whilst we still can.

  16. @JuliaM
    ‘Interested, it’s good that you feel the need to run interference for the police ‘

    I wasn’t ‘running interference for the police’, you cretin, and I don’t think the current firearms laws are top notch, which is why I said ‘I’m not saying current firearm laws make sense’.

    Have your thyroid checked.

  17. @Squander

    “I’d’ve thought sensible people wouldn’t bother with extrapolation when actual statistics are available. In the US, contrary to what Europeans like to think, the public face a bigger danger from accidental shooting by the police and various agencies’ swat teams than by armed members of the public.”

    Do you have a link to those stats? It does surprise me if that’s the case, though without seeing the stats I’m not disputing it.

    In any event, the fact that both cops and civilians shoot people accidentally is irrelevent as to the question of whether civilians should be armed in the UK. It’s an argument as to how well-trained british cops are.

    (Personally, as I said before, I don’t agree with our firearms laws. I can handle a firearm, I’m sure you could. I think we should be allowed to own firearms if we can pass some fairly obvious tests. I’m only questioning JuliaM’s typically boring extrapolation.)

  18. So Much for Subtlety

    JeremyT – “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.”

    Minutes? I would challenge anyone here to come up with an incident where police arrived in minutes. Hours more like. Normal wait times are measured in days.

    bloke (not) in spain – “WTF’s going on when they’re demonstrating paramilitary policing to toddlers? Instilling a lifetime fear of the power of the men in blue?”

    Recruitment. A certain type of young man likes guns. So older men go to schools and tell them that if they join up, they can be blasting away at criminals in no time. It is very successful.

    Unfortunately these are probably precisely the young lads we don’t want in the police force

  19. Bloke in Costa Rica

    It’s more like: when seconds count, don’t forget to stop in at the police station in the next few days to get an incident number.

    As for being more likely to be shot by a cop than a civilian – this naturally requires a bit of qualifying. By comparison with Western Europe, the US homicide rate is quite high (three or four times). But, once one abstracts out the propensity of thugs to kill other thugs, it drops to about the same rate (1-2 per hundred thousand per year). After having done that, it’s hard to disentangle cops shooting people for no good reason vs ordinary, non-thug members of the public shooting people for no good reason. But, we might perhaps be able to use one datum as a useful proxy, which is that law enforcement officials are three times more likely to commit domestic homicides than concealed weapons permit holders. This site has some details. It’s pro-gun, but the links to the raw data are there so that is no reason to dismiss it.

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