First police Tasers, now hypodermics?
A Police Federation article that appears to advocate the forced chemical sedation of suspects is a move into dangerous territory
Over the last decade or so, the police have had the run of things – vast investment, a huge increase in numbers (17,000), regiments of Police Support Community officers (16,000) to do the unglamorous jobs, and permission to write controversial policy that by-passes parliamentary scrutiny. That is why I took notice of an article from the Police Federation about “excited delirium” which subtly advocates the forcible chemical sedation of suspects by officers.
Kevin Huish, the custody specialist for the Police Federation, has returned from the conference of
the Institute for the Prevention of Deaths in Custody – yes, there truly is such an organisation – with
a description of excited delirium syndrome and the protocols for dealing with it.
The syndrome is defined in the Police magazine article by a multitude of symptoms, some of which may seem unnervingly familiar – running for no apparent reason; running wildly; being naked (trying to get cool); stripping off clothes (trying to get cool); apparent superhuman strength; seemingly unlimited endurance; violent resistance; violent resistance after being restrained; muscle rigidity; and the subject claiming “he can’t breathe”. In other words, pretty much anyone who is an agitated state, possibly because they have been wrongly arrested, have missed the last train out of Sheffield or cannot breathe because a police officer is kneeling on their windpipe.