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Police utility belt

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All operational police officers in Northumbria Police are fully trained and equipped with a variety of approved personal safety equipment.

The design and intention of the equipment is to provide a variety of legally approved options for officers to consider when dealing with an array of differing incidents during their operational tour of duty. All equipment is approved, trialled and tested for safety purposes before any training programme commences, and no equipment can be carried without appropriate training. All officers have a utility belt which is appropriately fitted with approved items of equipment.

This equipment is often referred to as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and compliments the officer's obligatory stab proof vest.
A police officers handcuffs
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Handcuffs are designed to limit, or totally inhibit, the hand and arm movements of detainees, preventing assaults on both officers and law abiding members of the public.

Following the application of the handcuffs, officers carry out a certain safety routine designed to ensure the detainee is not unduly uncomfortable or subject to injury.
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All operational police officers in Northumbria Police are trained and equipped to carry CS incapacitant spray. The spray comes as a small round container.

The chemical is propelled from the container in a similar fashion to that of a water pistol. CS spray is acknowledged as a safe response option, designed to assist officers to control and restrain violent aggressive people. The spray has an unpleasant short term effect on the offender, enabling officers to gain control and remove the violent person from the crime scene.
CS Spray
A police officers baton
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Since Victorian times, police officers have carried a baton, formerly referred to as a truncheon. Over the years the baton has changed in design, from a wooden material, to poly carbonate resin, to the current metal expandable baton.

Today's baton is easier to carry as it is compact in design, however officers can ‘rack’ the item to make it a longer size if appropriate. The baton is designed to offer officers, their colleagues, and members of the public protection during very dangerous operational duties.
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All operational police officers have recently been trained and equipped to carry limb restraint straps. Limb restraints fit neatly on the officers utility belt and can assist in the control, restraint and transportation of violent and none compliant offenders and detainees.

The holder has two straps which can be applied to the legs of an offender and in some cases joined together and used on a persons upper body. The main reason for applying this is to reduce the possibility of an offender kicking or punching officers, staff, and members of the public.
Limb restraints
A police officers taser
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A smaller proportion of police officers are also trained and equipped to carry and use a Taser. This item visually resembles a gun and can safely and effectively disarm a violent person without the officers having to get too close to them.

A Taser may be used if a person has threatened officers and members of the public with an edged weapon or knife.

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Also attached to the officers utility belt is a force radio. Through the radio, officers can request the attendance of other suitable back-up resources in the form of: extra personnel, dog handlers, authorised firearms officers including Armed Response Vehicles, mobilisation of the force helicopter and where there is water, such as the river Tyne or Wear, the marine divisional officers can provide water safety cover.

In today's modern police force, officers and staff deal with a wide variety of incidents, ranging from friendly ordinary law abiding members of the public seeking assistance and reassurance, to people who are violent and as such decide to break the law. Police officers must be able to swiftly respond to a call at very short notice and utilise a variety of options to enable a safe, quick resolution to the incident in question.

The officers utility belt and personal safety equipment, and the training they receive in its use, is an essential ingredient to safe effective policing of the Northumbria Police force area.
A police officers radio handset