August 24, 2009
[efoods]Earlier models of the wired taser, above, delivered a five-second shock. The XREP projectile can deliver a 20-second, 500 volt blow. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
A new Taser that fires wireless electric shock projectiles up to 30 metres is being considered for use by UK police forces, the Home Office has confirmed.
The eXtended Range Electronic Projectile (XREP), which went on sale in the US last month, attaches itself to its target with a series of barbed electrodes and delivers a 20-second, 500 volt shock.
If the subject tries to grab the device to pull it off, “reflex engagement electrodes” activate to complete a circuit that sends the shock through the subject’s body out to their hand.
The makers of the XREP, Taser International, say it is a “revolutionary” step that will allow police to safely immobilise potentially dangerous suspects from a much greater distance than before – the traditional hand-held Taser stun guns used in the UK only fired darts up to 25 feet – and then give them time to reach the target before he or she is able to move again. Previous Tasers have only delivered a five-second shock, which could be retriggered.