Drones and UV spray: French police to get new high tech weapons against the rioters

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Drones and UV spray: French police to get new high tech weapons against the rioters
Riot police on the Champs-Elysées. Photo/ AFP

French police are to be issued with new high-tech equipment to help in their battle against violent protesters and looters. But will it be enough?


As part of a package of measures designed to crack down on the kind of violent scenes seen on the Champs-Elysées on Saturday, police are to be given new weapons.

The new equipment includes an ultra-violet spray that is impossible to wash off.


(The new crime-fighting tools will supplement the water cannon and tear gas that French police already use. Photo: AFP)


Used mainly for identifying rioters after the event, it is a colourless, odourless liquid that can be sprayed over groups of people.

The product only shows up under UV light, remaining for up to four weeks on skin and longer on clothes, according to French newspaper L'Express.

Riot police are also to be equipped with drones which can provide photos and video footage of the crowds.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Monday a package of measures designed to halt further widespread violence linked to 'yellow vest' protests.

Announced in response to rioting, looting and arson on the Champs-Elysées on Saturday; the measures included the banning demonstrations in certain ares of Paris, Bordeaux and Toulouse if violent demonstrators such as black-block anarchists are spotted.

The PM stressed that the measures were in response to those intent on violence and not ordinary yellow vest demonstrators who have taken to the streets on Saturdays in recent months, but whose numbers have dipped.

"I am not mixing up the rioters (casseurs) with the large majority of yellow vests, who are no longer demonstrating...," he said.

"All those who are participating in these undeclared demonstrations are complicit. Their only cause is violence."

Some 5,000 police were deployed in the capital on Saturday, far outnumbering the several hundred black-clad rioters who caused havoc for more than seven hours on the capital's most famous boulevard.
TV footage often showed officers standing in formation while the protesters burned and pillaged dozens of stores.

Some have called for French police to be far more active in tackling troublemakers.


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Anonymous 2019/03/19 15:50
Why tell the rioters what new weapons you have in store? SURPRISE them!<br />UV spray will help? <br />Drones? Am I missing something? Is this a video game? <br />Bring in the TANKS!

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