violent and dangerous situations they face home secretary Jack Straw
told senior police officers.
Speaking at the ACPO dinner in the West Midlands, Mr Straw said:
'Protecting the community from serious crime will often lead
them into violent, high risk situations. During last year alone,
more than 15,000 officers were assaulted and the number of serious
attacks rose for the third year running to 900.
'Police officers deserve the best protection that we can provide. That is why I believe CS spray should be available to the
police service as an effective tool for self-defence, a deterrent to
potentially violent suspects.
'I have read all of the pathologist's reports and other medical
and toxicological evidence submitted to the Ibrahima Sey inquest.
The Coroner's recommendations might lead one to think that the
inquest had seen evidence which cast doubts on the acceptability of
CS spray but I am satisfied this is not the case.
'There is nothing in the evidence to suggest that CS and the
solvent MIBK, separately or in combination, present any significant
threat to human health.
'John Giffard, chairman of the ACPO self-defence committee has
advised all chief constables there is no reason to suspend the use of
CS incapacitants when used within the appropriate guidelines. I am
sure this is right and strongly support the continued use of this
equipment which, I believe is helping to protect the lives of police
officers as they go about their duties.'
-- The home secretary was speaking at the ACPO dinner which marks the
end of the annual autumn conference.