Where's a frackin...
PICTURE of the robot man!!!
A hefty police robot described by its human colleagues as "heavy equipment" charged into a besieged house through a barrage of stun grenades and choking riot gas at the weekend, before finding and forcefully apprehending a wanted man who had somehow managed to conceal himself inside a television. The robot belonged to the …
I want to see a picture of the TV that can somehow accomodate a grown man.
Ask your grandparents about the TVs they had growing up. My grandparents' TV (which they kept well into my childhood) wasn't particularly big for the time, but it could easily accommodate a grown man. Possibly even with room for a second if said man were on the leanish side.
Robot operators are nowhere near as trigger happy as your average USA cop.
So the likelihood of incidents like standing on a car bonnet and firing 40-odd rounds downwards from point blank range into two unarmed suspects is greately diminished. Or alternatively, shooting a suspect 7 times in the back and putting your tazer next to him after that so you can say "he tried to get hold of my weapon".
So for what it's worth, it is better if they use a tin can with a capacitor bank and some sedative darts. The likelihood of casualties will be considerably less. Same goes for armed responce units elsewhere like in the UK. The sole difference is that there are fewer of them (thankfully).
Bullshit AC - have you even looked at the statistics in the UK for the discharge of firearms in the UK. Clue it averages around 4-5 times PER YEAR. Note that's just discharges not kills. Compare that to the US where there were 461 "justifiable homicides" in one YEAR.
Im all for the occasional Brazilian plumber dig at the Met but the reality is that the UK cops aren't even comparable to those in the US when it comes to gun use/training.
While there are few discharges, a SIGNIFICANT number of them finish with fatalities and court cases. The cops in the UK that are armed are as trigger happy as their US counterparts (if not more) and shoot to kill in nearly all cases. There is no intention of shooting to disable or disarm. It is not what they are trained for either.
As some other people mentioned, Brazilian electricians are popular as target practice and so are Rodneys, Duggans, deranged bankers having too much bolivian marching powder and a shotgun and so on. This is just off the top of my head over the last 10 (or so) years.
You say "shoot to kill" as though there are other equally good options. The choice, when one needs to shoot someone, is between some sort of ridiculous trick shot aimed at a limb - thin, probably moving - or worse, the target's weapon, and shooting into the centre of the body. In one case there's a strong risk of missing and hurting someone else - in the other case you can be nearly a foot off your point of aim in any direction and still hit the target.
Once you've made the decision that you can only resolve the situation using a weapon that can kill, you use the weapon as efficiently (and safely for everyone else around you) as possible.
The cops in the UK that are armed are as trigger happy as their US counterparts (if not more) and shoot to kill in nearly all cases.
Any firearm-wielding law enforcement officer in the world is trained to shoot to kill. Most of them (including in the US, though you wouldn't know it from the recent media hypegasm) are also trained not to shoot unless there are lives at stake.
Shooting to disarm is something that snipers who can shoot dimes out of the air at 200 yards occasionally get called in to do. It's surprisingly hard to do and not something a beat cop armed with a .45 or a 9mm is expected to be capable of.
I had a "yeah but" moment, so I had to do the math.
4-5 times per year per 53 million people
461 times per year per 319 million people
or 0.08 ppm vs 1.4 ppm
So the UK really shoots at people at a gigantic 5% of the US rate, rather than the totally exaggerated 1% that was implied.
"According to the 2011 census, the total population of the United Kingdom was around 63,182,000"
"The population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538", 2010 Census
I'm not sure of current estimates for the UK, US seems to be estimates as about 318,000,000 so I used the nearest dated census data.
So that's 0.06 versus 1.5 so only 4% on 2010/11 figures.
Guessing that UK pop. is now 65m and USA est. of 318m gives:
0.06 & 1.3 making it 4.5%
Yes, I was bored.
I especially liked the bit in the linked article that said "the police department is thankful to 'all the neighbors and citizens in the area who showed patience and restraint.” I am not not sure if they mean that they are happy the neighbors didn't start firing on the suspect's residence, that they didn't cross the police barricade for a better look at the action, that they were filming the police the whole time, or some combination of the three.
"... had failed to get the besieged man to give himself up despite sending him more than 100 text messages suggesting that he should do so. "
Perhaps his phone was turned off, or there's no signal in that part of town. Maybe they could have tried another means of communication (see icon).
OTOH How often do they get a chance to use the "heavy equipment" robot ?
Pardon me but since when does being inside a "TV cabinet" mean the same thing as being inside a "television"?!? Not the least because getting inside a modern flat TV would be nonsensical, while getting inside an old CRT-based one would require nothing short of a contortionist. Hiding in a piece of furniture is a lot more understandable, even if hardly any comfier.
Television *cabinets* can be quite large -- and may not hold only TVs but other audio equipment, DVD collections, etc. Often the shelves are adjustable and thus removable, so there could be plenty of room in one for a full grown man. Maybe the confusion is from the difference in word usage in the UK and US... does "TV cabinet" in the UK refer mainly to the TV itself, or to the furniture that you place the TV in or on? In the US, in my experience, it refers to the latter.
I just love the sponsorship tagline I randomly got at the bottom of that story. It was beautifully appropriate that a piece about a guy being collared whilst hidden inside an old TV and then outed by a robot and stun grenades was underscored by the sponsor tagline:
"Sponsored: Flash storage for dummies"
Yep. When a few cops sitting around outside for a few days with a movement sensor while the guy inside got hungry and thirsty and finally emerged to go the to bathroom or the kitchen, then perhaps a fan blowing the tempting scents of a freshly-delivered pizza into his house, would have been just as effective and less expensive.
But they all want to go SWAT.
Understandably worried, the fleshy cops covered their mechanical colleague's attack with a fusillade of "flash bang" stun ordnance and filled the house with tear gas for good measure.
Fuck me. Can you say "over-reaction"?
Wouldn't all the gas, and smoke from the flash-bangs, obscure the robots cameras, making it harder to control? All seems rather pointless and over the top. Surely just send the bot in with a few cops covering the exits and one on the remote. No need for a SWAT battalion and the shock and awe.
Sadly the whole shock and awe bit has become standard operating procedure for most police forces. Soon we'll see all police trained to stand in as a SWAT member at a moments notice as the teams are more regularly deployed for even the most minor investigations. It seems they will be in need of a new backronym, Typical Weapons And Tactics seems more appropriate.
How did they determine that this ONE guy was so dangerous that they had to throw the kitchen sink at him? Did they blow their whole wad for the year on this extraction? In one exercise they get to refresh their inventory of ordinance, explosives, chemical weapons, and data plans (If their texts weren't getting they probably had Straight Talk from Walmart).
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