MALDIVE ISLANDS – Cabinet decision will increase police use of non-lethal weapons, including tasers (2011-03-30)

Published on April 2 2011 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS: The Maldive Island government – 750 km south-west of India, pop. 400,000 – “yesterday decided to permit police to use non-lethal weapons to curb the gang violence in Maldives.” Tasers are not really appropriate for combating gangs “… Tasers [one of the options being considered] are widely used as a ranged non-lethal option by many law enforcement agencies around the world such as the US, but have been criticised for their misuse by some officers and potential to cause cardiac problems in some recipients of the shock.” Giving police more powerful arms is judged to be “necessary for national security” in the face of increasing gang violence: ]]

Minivan News, by Ahmed Nazeer

Cabinet yesterday decided to permit police to use non-lethal weapons to curb the gang violence in Maldives.

The President’s Office said the decision was made after discussing a paper submitted to the cabinet by the National Security Advisor ”raising concern over the continuous increase of gang violence, street mugging and other serious criminal activities that risk people’s lives and social stability.”

”Discussing the paper, members of the Cabinet noted that existing police fire power to stop gang violence was not appropriate for current situation compared to some of the more lethal weapons used by gangs,” said the President’s Office. ”They also noted that, in a democratic country, granting police the power and capability to discharge their legal duties to maintain internal stability and security, and protect the economy, was necessary for national security.”

An official from the President’s Office said that non-lethal weapons including electroshock taser guns and mace spray were permitted under the new regulation, while the use and effectiveness of weapons already in use such as pepper spray were discussed. The official said he was unsure whether the decision included the use of rubber munitions.

Tasers are widely used as a ranged non-lethal option by many law enforcement agencies around the world such as the US, but have been criticised for their misuse by some officers and potential to cause cardiac problems in some recipients of the shock. Mace is the brandname for a strong form of pepper spray, which causes a burning sensation on mucus membranes but is short-range.

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said that police had not yet been informed as to what types of non-lethal weapons were now allowed.

”After we know what types of non-lethal weapons are allowed we can say how effective it might be on our operations to curb gang violence,” Shiyam said.

Currently tear gas, pepper spray and batons are used by police in the Maldives, however police have been previously criticised for inaction when confronted with gangs wielding knives and swords. In a recent attempted robbery of Baros Island Resort police discovered a harpoon gun in a boat allegedly used transport the suspects to the island, however more conventional firearms are extremely rare in the country.

The long article continues with some 20 examples of gang-violence, mostly involving stabbings …

http://minivannews.com/society/cabinet-decision-will-increase-police-use-of-non-lethal-weapons-including-tasers-18037

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