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back to article Notts police seize mobile phone stun gun

Notts police are in a state of semi-shock after seizing a "potentially lethal" stun gun disguised as a Sony Ericsson W700. The weapon was recovered from two young men on 28 February in the Hyson Green area of Nottingham, according to the Nottingham Evening Post. It looks like a normal mobile phone but boasts a handy "Stun" …

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Joke

Surely the BOFH & PFY

........... out on the town for the evening?

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Ru

18 more potentially lethal?

I'm trying to remember the sort of voltages you can get from a simple van de graaf generator. A bit more than 50kV I'm sure, but hard more 'more potentially lethal'.

I recall seeing things on hackaday and youtube from some guy who ran a few wires from the flash on his mobile phone camera to the end of the phone, allowing it to be used as an ersatz taser that would probably cause more irritation than harm.

But this is really just a load of fuss about technology, isn't it? I have more to worry about some guy sneaking up behind me and whacking me on the back of the head before stealing my wallet, than being attacked with a taser. Or hell, a boken bottle or knife. Cheaper, easier, few thousand years proven track record in theft facilitation, etc.

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Coat

Typical massive exaggeration by the police

900,000 volts?

Dielectric strength of air = 3Kv/mm

hardly a pocket sized mobile phone with a 0.9 metre spark gap,

time to apply the same sanity factor as the claimed value of seized drugs, divide by 100.

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Anonymous Coward

What *current* do they output

It's not the voltage it's the current. What *current* do they produce?

Tasers problem seems to be they allow long duration and multiple shocks (too much current passing through) and some of them shoot electrodes which can penetrate the skin near the heart (where a lower current can kill). It's not the 50kv part thats the problem.

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Coat

from the Department Of The Bleeding Obvious

Detective Sergeant Dave Bola, of Notts Police, told the BBC: "It's a shock that we found it."

Yeah - I think that's kind of the idea of the device

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Coat

Surely people remember this from...

...such a great (cough) film as Tomorrow Never Dies!

And that was a Sony Ericcson too!

Mine's the one with all the gadetry sewn into the linings!

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Stop

BOFH and PFY?

Hyson Green + BOFH and PFY?

No chance. The pubs are crap. Although there is one half decent curry house. They'd have no business there - unless they were on the lookout for some Columbian marching powder or a lady of negotiable affection.

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Bronze badge

So it's Ok for the police

but if an ordinary person has got one it's "potentially lethal". I suppose anyone who's got one must be a terrorist too?

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Surprising

Its Hyson Green, why were these lads carrying one of these? I'll tell you why, they clearly lost their shotgun, that or palmed it off to students for crack.

Huw Davies - Top Nosh Pizza place mate, fantastic, 2 for 1 all the time.

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Coat

MP3 players, cameras, high-voltage whacky sticks....

They'll turn mobile phones into anything nowadays.

Let's just hope they don't press the big 'Zap' button when they answer the phone. That could be a (-wait for it-) shocking experience!

Mine's the one with the remains of my dignity in the pockets.

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Stop

OMFG

"This could potentially kill someone", but then so could a spoon.

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Paris Hilton

Just a few points

At 900,000 volts across two studs, on a mobile phone, the current would jump across any gap that could be set up, unless it found a less resistive path. Such as being pressed hard against damp skin. Or the hand of the person holding the device.

Simple maths will show that to generate this voltage from any battery which could be held in a mobile phone body, the current would be reduced to the level of pico-amps. The voltage would hurt but the only way to kill someone with this device would be to beat them with it.

While the police saying it was a shock that they found this is amusing, it is also quiet true. They were shocked that they could find anything let alone something as small as a mobile phone.

Paris because her mobile caused a few shocks

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Stop

Technical error?

A technical paper should get the technical bits right. Open-circuit voltage by itself gives no indication whatever of how lethal it is. For a shock, voltage, current and duration all matter.

Also I share doubts as to the practicality of such a high voltage in such a small device. And why make it so high when a lower voltage would work?

Anyway, glad the crooks are showing some restraint. At least it didn't have a button labelled "kill".

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P = IV

Given your logic about "lethalness", a mains supply is 200 times less potentially lethal than the police taser..... Ok... let's try this at home.

If I don't post a follow-up comment then your story may be technically innaccurate.

Chris

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Heart

Taser assures us that tasers are perfectly safe...

Potential lethality is a complex function of frequency and current and other factors; but not so much voltage. Otherwise door-knobs on a dry static-filled day would be deadly.

Compare and contrast the following:

- Taser manufacturuer claims that 'Excited Delirium' is true cause of all otherwise unexplained taser-related deaths.

- Flame-Thrower manufacturer claims that 'Spontaneous Human Combustion' is true cause of the burnt-to-a-crisp victims.

www.Excited-Delirium.com

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IT Angle

http://www.stunster.com/catalog/cell-phone-stun-950000v-p-549.html

Looks like this one:

http://www.stunster.com/catalog/cell-phone-stun-950000v-p-549.html

It is quite clearly an offensive weapon, regardless of the BS in the advert. A defensive weapon with 2 safety levels is an oxymoron. By the time you have flicked both safeties off (especially under stress) you would be beaten unconcious ten times. At least.

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Phone Shock or Maths Shock?

Someone should check the decimal points here! 900 Kv would give a spark nearly a metre long!

Holy incineration, Batman!

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Coat

@ What *current* do they output

Isnt it more 'Watt' current do they output....coat being put on as we speak!

Interestingly when I was about 14 I made one of these from a disposable camera, just take some handy cable from either side of the capacitor and you've got a lovely stun-gun. If I remember right if the discharge wires were too close together they would also give a nice skin burn as well!

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Stupid design

As soon as you pulled out anything looking like a mobile phone in Hyson Green it'd be nicked before you got a chance to use it.

And only 900KV? I get more than that everytime I use the bleeding escalator hand rail in Jessops. I. Hate. Static.

Now if you really want to hurt someone with leccy you just need to ask them to hold the HT cable whilst you start the car...

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Coat

I Wonder if the UK Plods will be Any More Restrained than the US Ones

US Cops have been going "taser happy."

They've been tasering pregnant women, speeders, small drunk ladies, etc.

Just LOADS of fun.

I'm sure that the UK plods will be far more restrained.

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double standards

yes, like many others have said... whoever made that 'police' statement is either a total idiot, or just plain lying (surprise surprise).

how convenient that they leave out how much CURRENT is delivered. voltage in itself is not lethal.

so, these tasers are 'less than lethal' when the police have them, but are 'potentially lethal' when anyone else has one!! (breathing can be potentially lethal.. lol).

what do the police think they are playing at here??

if they can have a 'less than lethal' tasers (and abuse them, which they frequently do to taser naked or unconcious OAPs), i can have one too, and i wouldn't abuse it either.

what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

exactly who is it that makes these rediculous laws anyhow? how come we never get any say in any proposed law?

zaaappppp..

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It really is disappointing .....

that either the police are so technically ignorant - which (apart from the spokes people) I anticipate they're not - or the media hacks are so gullible.

It's all about headlines. It sounds good that the police have confiscated this desperately dangerous device from nerdowells in a notorious area of one of the known crime capitals of the UK. The truth is it may have been dangerous but no realistic technical judgment could be formed from the information. Sophistric bollocks? I don't go to Hyson Green very often but I can believe the Graham more than the Police Spokesthingy.

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Lee
Alert

@Car HT leads

I've been hit by those. it was the single most painful thing i've done. Just got hit by one spark, but it was an in-one-arm out-the-other through-the-chest Oh-Fuck-my-heart-is-racing zap. Lucky i'm not an old guy with heart problems.

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RE: Stupid design

Makes sense to me. Yob comes up to you, demands your phone, you 'hand it over' and in the process electrocute him?

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Alert

P=IV? Er, yeah, but...

The mains supply at home is built and fused to deliver from 5 to 32 AMPS.

The tidgy power transistor that's wheezing and puffing in your average flyback oscillator, pumping up some High Voltage, probably has a max collector current of 100 - 500 milliamps (thousandths of an amp).

And then it's got to through a coil as well (a la car ignition) to get to the tens or hundreds of KV, which steps down the final current in the same ratio as the step up of the voltage.

Final result? A good jolt, and an impressive spark, but that's it.

I'm guessing that the Tazer has something gutsy in the way of output driver and some form of clever output waveform shaping to be able to squirt the absolute-bloddy-max into those nasty flying dart wires.

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Pirate

It's not the voltage/current they're shocked at...

It's the fact it's disguised as a phone.... Just imagine the scene outside a pub on saturday night

(Police) ....Drop the weapon

(Chav) ....What weapon?

(Police) ...In your hand ..

(Chav) I'm phoning me mum

(Police) NOW!!!

(Chav) Drop me bleedin' iphone ... youre 'avin a giraffe

....ZAP.

......ZZZZZAP

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Flame

Help me with my maths here

According to that URL, these things use 3 x CR2 batteries. According to http://www.ebattery.co.kr/pdf/lithium/camera/CR2.PDF those batteries can deliver 2.5A in a pulse at 3V. So 3 batteries x 3V x 2.5A is 22.5VA. Divide by 900000V and you get 25pA. Is this painful? Am I missing something?

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Coat

Surprised nobody's said it yet...

Detective Sergeant Dave Bola, of Notts Police, told the BBC: "It's a shock".

:-S

Mine's the one with the taser in the pocket... or maybe I'm just pleased to see you.

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Dead Vulture

18 times zero is zero

So if it's 18 times more lethal than something that's "non-lethal" then it's "non-lethal" as well. Right?

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Thumb Down

But then again

But then again , er how many people die annually when in the so called protective police custody or innocently awaiting your tube train to depart to your destination when armed hoons in uniform arrive to shoot first then ask the questions later ?

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Daylight robbery

Surprised it wasn't disguised as an iPhone - they must be mugger-magnets. Besides, buying an iPhone is a good way to be parted from your wallet.

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Flame

Get Real Geeks

You guys make me laugh.

Its only been a couple of weeks since all those pathetic histrionics and hissy-fits caused by the Police arresting that guy at gun-point - you remember, the chap who apparently 'pointed' his mobile at someone as if it were a gun and a passer-by actually thought it was one! On that occasion the Police were labelled 'utter morons' because they apparently lacked effective telepathic skills and, of course, 'how could a mobile possibly harm anyone?'

How indeed?

I was tasered once and boy did that hurt; and I mean really hurt! - not to mention the fact that, as big as I am, I was rendered totally helpless for what seemed like an age. Which is precisely why such devices are used in street robberies and nightclub disturbances - and, to my certain knowledge, at least a couple of very unpleasnt sexual assaults around my way. These devices can and do enable little lowlife scumbags to take on people otherwise immune to intimidation.

What the hell does it matter what its maximum power output is just so long as it works and looks sufficiently inocuous for no-one to see it coming? There's already a healthy trade in weapons like these, they come in by the boxful with a significantly better mark-up than a whole transit van full of tax free fags.

Are you really surprised or just naive?

There's already more than enough violence and yobbery taking place in our towns and inner cities. And before someone starts bleating about politics & media hype the plain truth is that this is nothing new because its always been here. Britain has always been a yob nation. Yes, the chances of YOU getting attacked this week is highly improbable - but I can guarantee that plenty of other people will be - just pop into any urban A&E Dept. for a weekend reality check. This, I'm afraid, is our normal, its probably why we're so disproportionately good at wars and had such a big Empire.

Hoorah!

"GREAT BRITAIN: BESPOKE PURVEYOR OF DRUNKEN THUGERY SINCE THE RENAISSANCE"

You muppets!

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Boffin

Spot the Numpty

> "But then again , er how many people die annually when in the so called protective police custody or innocently awaiting your tube train to depart to your destination when armed hoons in uniform arrive to shoot first then ask the questions later ?"

Precious few in POLICE custody, around 95% die in prisons. In an average year there are significantly more Police killed on duty than there are dead detainees.

But then why let reality get in the way of a mindless rant?

And with regard to your last 'point', to the best of my knowledge just one in the last 2000 years - or I could say 10, 20 or a 100,000 years if I wanted to sound equally purile!

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upgrade

I traded in my stungun for a Glock 36 and I'm very happy about it.

Most stunguns don't pack enough punch to deal with someone on coke.

BTW a Tazer and a stungun are not the same thing. A stungun has two metal prods, a Tazer shots out a needle with a wire attached, much nastier,

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Paris Hilton

@ac you really cracked me up

@ac surely you jest or either miserably failed basic Google 101 in 3rd grade , for in the UK in 2006 as reported September 2007 in the grossly overcrowded and under staffed UK prison , police cell and youth detention system "There were around 600 deaths in custody last year, including in prisons, young offender institutions and police cells."(only 68 were in actual prisons or roughly 11% of the total ,another 400 were listed as natural causes but since 9 out of ten death certificates issued annually in the UK are fabricated works of fiction Dr Shipman style it boggles the imagination as to is it a cover up or deliberate murder ?)

Any nice troll in the land down under in Oz would politely say "You are full of it!" to your face, the Kiwi's would be less polite and more direct and use a cricket bat , the think tank God pretenders to the west across the Atlantic sea have their head in posterior problems and don't really care !

Say , since I currently have a car boot full of assorted sized feet from another troll looking for a good home , where you want them sent !

Sadly in an age of information where a million answers wash around in the tubes looking for the questions , tunnel vision is still alive and well in the 21st Century of propaganda !

With apologies to Nelson and PH "Ha! Ha!" !

Some days when you don a police uniform in many countries UK inclusive , you can literally get away with murder !

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@RU

"18 more potentially lethal?"

Yeah, with an ordinary taser you end up dead, but with this one you'd be dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead.

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perhaps

A police spokesman elaborated: "It could render someone unconscious and may even be powerful enough to kill an older person.

the police might think of this next time they decide to tazer someone for "giving them a funny look"

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Brace yourself, this may smart a little!

A 'stun gun' and a Tazer are, to all intents and purposes, the same thing. Both deliver a sufficient jolt of electricity to spoil your day and stop you in your tracks. If you are unlucky enough to be the user of a heart pacemaker and get zapped by one of these, it may be your last earthly experience.

Now if the 'zapper' is a police officer with a Tazer, he will have been trained to shout a warning along the lines of "Would you mind,awfully, desisting from your course of action or 50,000 volts will be coursing through your body!". Now the alleged naughty person, upon hearing this, will stop and happily converse with the police officer and desist from said naughtiness. This would clearly be the case if Mr Naughty had a pacemaker because he would know that such spikes of electricity are particularly disruptive!

If the 'zapper' is a slack-jawed, f*ckwit with a stun gun made to look like something innocuous then the possibility is that the 'zappee' will not know it's coming and cannot do anything to avoid it. The zapper will not have weighed up the possible result of his actions and that is where you could have a death. Those pedants who are aguing the likely output of a device with an 'x' or a 'y' battery, capacitor or blah-blah-blah may like to check out 'stun gun' on ebay.com. In the U.S you can buy a nice little one that will fit inside a cigarette packet (uses 3 volt lithium batteries) and puts out one million volts. A possibly quicker death than smoking the cigarettes? Who can tell? I wouldn't like to find out.

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Stop

@ Tonto Popaduopolos

"A 'stun gun' and a Tazer are, to all intents and purposes, the same thing."

Um, no. They are not. Getting hit with a Tazer makes getting hit wilt a stungun seem fun.

Getting stuck with the prods while they make a connection is not a big deal, it makes you think, but "I" have been stunned, I stunned myself to know how well it works. "I needed to know if I could depend on it." Its over pretty quickly, and most home models don't pack enough juice to do much worse than make someone wet themselves and get a numb arm.

Having a heavy battery send the jolt down wires to needles imbedded in your skin, that knocks you down and keeps you there. Here the police carry Tazers with their pistols, and NOT stunguns for a very good reason. Tazers are a LOT more lethal and a LOT more dangerous. They also don't require you to be in grappling distance. I can buy a handgun, I can buy a stungun, but even we can't buy real tazers.

I've owned several stunguns, you aren't even allowed to touch one. So till you know what you are talking about at least slightly, you might want to study up. Or aren't you allowed to read about them either?

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Flame

@heystoopid – Spot the Numpty 2!

Sigh - Now lets try this again for the hard of thinking:

The official 2006 UK figures as reported by the IPCC in 2007 (the ones you’re so keen to quote) break down as follows:

There were indeed a grand total 586 deaths in custody, so yeah very close to the 600 you mentioned. However, of these only 28 relate to “Deaths in of following POLICE Custody”.

Now correct me if I’m wrong but I make that just 4.77% of the total - very close to the 5% figure that I was quoting because, yes, it was precisely these deaths in POLICE CUSTODY that I was referring to. I merely rounded the figures UP for brevity! Oops, and in case your still struggling, thats actually 95.23% NOT in Police Custody!

The total number of UK Police arrests during this same period was a whopping 1,429,800.

Ignoring the fact that significant numbers of those were detained under the effects of drink, drugs, mental illness, stress and recent violence prior to their arrest. You would still have to equate those 28 deaths in 1,429,800 arrests to the average number of deaths found in a random sample of 1,429,800 people – before you could start looking for any statistical trends in the incidence of suspicious deaths at Police hands.

In fact the Office For National Statistics report the UK mortality rate as follows: 7,576 per million for men and 5,279 per million women (this ignores infant deaths). I’m afraid I only have the 2004 figures to hand but even you must get the general drift.

All your other comments are so inanely vacuous they’re not even worthy of reply.

It rather looks like it is you who failed Google 101 – or should that perhaps be Maths 101?

Or as I originally intimated: purile!

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Dana W

Dana W, you wrote - "I've owned several stunguns, you aren't even allowed to touch one. So till you know what you are talking about at least slightly, you might want to study up. Or aren't you allowed to read about them either?"

You appear to be talking out of your arse (that's ass for the linguistically challenged)!

To have tested your stun gun on yourself and then write that the worst it can do is give you a numb arm and wet underwear says a lot about you. Perhaps if you take your Glock 36 and test that in a similar manner against your temple you could describe it's merits over the Glock 19.

I have been carrying firearms, operationally as a police officer, for the last 18 years in my part of the world (the U.K). I haven't had to shoot anyone in that time. In the last two years we have been carrying Taser (Dana, you should spell Taser with an 'S' not a 'Z') and I haven't had to use that either. Taser was introduced to this country as a 'less lethal option' and has been used as such by my colleagues. I say used, most have only had to light up the subject with the laser dot to gain their compliance (Dana, in case you are wondering, laser is with an 'S' not a 'Z' as well).

The reason this individual's stun gun phone was seized was that it is illegal to possess such an item in this country. At the wrong time in the wrong place, someone might have ended up dead. End of story, really.

Taser = Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle.

Laser = Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

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