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Recruits get a Taste of Pepper Spray


New Royal Gibraltar Police recruits got to grips with the painful effects of Captor Spray during a training session at Devils Tower Camp this afternoon.


As part of their seven day long Public and Personal Safety Training course, the recruits were sprayed with the incapacitant spray to learn about its effects first hand.


All Response Team officers in the force carry the spray, which is used as a non-lethal defensive weapon against violent offenders or those resisting arrest.


The effects of the spray are an immediate loss of vision, short-term pain and extreme discomfort, symptoms that last up to 30 minutes.


No permanent damage is caused and no medical treatment is needed.


Seargeant Paul Chiara, who is the RGP’s lead officer on the use of force, said: “There are two main reasons why we do this. Firstly, so officers understand the effects of Captor Spray and they can practice the relevant after care on persons that have been exposed to it. 


“Even if someone has assaulted a police officer and has been sprayed, we have a duty of care to our suspects and we have to be able to control them if they have been incapacitated – as it is painful. 


“The other reason is to experience how bad the pain is, as the likelihood of officers being exposed to cross-contamination is quite high. This way the officers get to feel what the effects will be like in case they are accidentally sprayed, so that they don’t start panicking and they know how to take care of themselves whilst other officers can take care of the suspects.”


Captor Spray is similar to pepper spray and is dispensed from a handheld canister in a liquid stream.


It has been used by RGP officers since late 2016 and is used by most police forces in the UK.


The 12 officers (7 male and 5 female) come from a wide variety of backgrounds including the military, firefighting and a former Mrs. Gibraltar.


The RGP’s recruits are currently in week 5 of the Training School and will join Response Teams in August.