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Fishery Officers Carotid Hold Under Review

Monday 22 August 2004

Fishery Officers Carotid Hold Under Review

“The Union representing Fishery Officers is proposing to drop the controversial carotid hold as part of their campaign to be allowed to carry defensive equipment such as retractable batons and pepper spray to extract themselves from dangerous situations,” said Martin Cooney, Organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) today.

He was commenting on a recent report into a death from the use of such a hold by the Police. “The Police have decided to continue using the carotid hold but Fishery Officers are considering dumping the option. In a recent survey of members, dropping the hold was supported ideally in conjunction with replacement by the lower force options of retractable batons and pepper spray.”

“Fishery Officers are currently trained in the carotid hold which causes unconsciousness very quickly and is placed at the same lethal end of the defensive equipment spectrum as are firearms. The carotid hold is the most risky of the options they currently are trained to use,” said Martin Cooney.

“When Fishery Officers confront offenders on an isolated beach and have to extract themselves from unexpected attack, they are trained to use the carotid hold in conjunction with martial arts open handed moves,” said Martin Cooney.

“United Nations criteria place these two defensive actions at a higher force level and risk to Officer and offender than the use of retractable batons and pepper spray,” said Martin Cooney.

“NUPE intends now discussing the move with Fisheries,” said Martin Cooney.

ENDS

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