According to British paper The Telegraph, police are currently testing a shoulder-mounted laser cannon that can project a virtual wall of blinding light from nearly 500 meters away.
Originally developed to help cargo ships repel pirate attacks, the device temporarily blinds incoming attackers with a band of light that’s 10 meters wide.
While the United Nations has banned laser weapons that cause permanent blindness, lasers that only cause temporary vision impairment, or blindness by accident, are still acceptable.
Police would not be deploying the weapon on the British public unless it could be confirmed that it does not cause permanent blindness, the paper said.
Police were also testing a long-range electronic device, similar to a Taser, that can incapacitate targets from a distance. Another less-lethal weapon category, “long-range chemical irritant projectiles,” was also being examined, The Telegraph noted.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.