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U.K. Police Testing Laser Rifle That Blinds Rioters With a 'Wall of Light

U.K. Police Testing Laser Rifle That Blinds Rioters With a 'Wall of Light

"If you can't look at something you can't attack it."

After the violent London Riots earlier this year, developers are looking into non-lethal methods to control or contain rioters to instill order and also protect the police force.

Although it's only in the test stages, a laser that looks like a rifle according to The Telegraph, could be added to the ranks of non-lethal crowd control technology used in the U.K. The Telegraph has more on the SMU 100 created by Photonic Security Systems, which is said to "incapacitate targets up to 500 m away with a wall of light up to three meters squared":

"The system would give police an intimidating visual deterrent. If you can't look at something you can't attack it," said Paul Kerr, the firm's managing director, told The Sunday Times.

"If police spot someone trying to do something untoward, painting them with this would certainly make them think twice about it," he said. He said it could also be deployed during hostage rescues.

The laser costs £25,000 ($39,035) and would be used to seek out looters in areas with low visibility. The Telegraph reports that scientists at the Centre for Applied Science and Technology are evaluating the device for safety with at least one police force and that it wouldn't be used in the field until long-term effects were studied.

The Telegraph goes on to report that the London Metropolitan police are looking at purchasing water cannons. Currently, the police force in northern Ireland is the only one in the U.K. with water cannons, and the force is Scotland Yard is reportedly upping its number of officers trained to use plastic bullets.

[H/T Gizmodo]

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