As former Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, continues to gain more support in easing restrictions on public access to pepper spray, one security consultant says that the use of non-lethal weapons may not necessarily be the solution to personal protection.
Newsday spoke to Director and Chief Training Officer of Blue Line Security Group Paul Daniel Nahous, who says that access to pepper sprays and tasers are simply not enough to defend against armed attackers and may in fact put persons at even further risk.
"Pepper sprays are not magic wands. They require training to use and are not adequate for gun and knife welding persons, or even persons who are unarmed and rush and grab the victim."
He is instead urging public to seek advice and training from reputable self-defence instructors to protect themselves from harm, adding that in the wrong hands, pepper spray and other similar weapons may cause more harm than good.
"The self defence weapons, including pepper sprays are almost useless in untrained hands, and furthermore often provide a false sense of security. Pepper spray can be used to defend oneself, but not without understanding the limitations, functions, and proper usage relevant to the situation at hand."
Asked if he agreed for calls from TTPS Social Welfare Association Head, Inspector Michael Seales to issue non-lethal weapons to officers, he said that
"I don't fully agree with officers in non riot situations carrying pepper spray, due to abuse, which is rampant in many law enforcmeent agencies with that as well, but it has a less damaging effect than pepper spray."