The Most Popular Types Of Police Batons

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A police baton is a integral part of a police officer’s equipment, having evolved from a wooden truncheon into the innovative modern batons we see today. Batons are issued to officers for use in all types of policing from general policing and searches to armed policing and public order.

The UK College of Policing states that:

Batons are used by appropriately trained officers in order to:

  • Protect officers
  • Demonstrate that force is about to be/may be used
  • Facilitate dispersal and/or arrest
  • Gain access to locked properties and vehicles

What type of baton can I purchase?

There are a wide range of batons available for purchase with varying styles and functions depending on their purpose.

  • Friction lock batons can be opened by a sharp swing of the handle into a free space. The expanded telescopic tubes are then firmly secured by the friction of the tubes extending.
  • Positive lock (posi-lock) batons are similar to friction lock batons as they are both telescopic, but posi-lock have the advantage of a push button closure.
  • Training batons are identical in appearance to their equivalent operational baton but are extremely lightweight are and suitable for police training exercises.
  • Public order batons are comparatively lightweight and are highly resistant to fracture.

When should a baton be used?

Police officers will always aim to diffuse a situation without confrontation but there are instances when the use of force is required. However, batons have become less favorable as many officers prefer to use a distance weapons such as PAVA spray, or if armed, a TASER device.

In the event of a public order disturbance, The UK College of Policing have stated that the Police Support Unit (PSU) will decide when it is necessary to draw and deploy batons. Even though the decision to use a baton must be recorded and justified by the decision maker, individual officers do have the right to use their baton to protect themselves, their colleagues and the general public.

Are lightweight batons available?

Police batons are available in a variety of weights. Many officers prefer lightweight batons as they are more comfortable to carry and easier to use. The ESP Easy Lock Ergonomic Baton weighs 480g in comparison to the Bonowi Camlock Baton which is significantly heavier, weighing 631g. Many batons are also available in varying lengths ensuring all officers have the option of choosing a baton that is best suited to their individual height and strength.

What are the differences between a friction lock baton and a posi-lock baton?

Friction lock and posi-lock batons are telescopic batons that extend to full length using a sharp swing of the arm. Both types of batons are very similar but they have one key feature that differentiates them – the method in which they are retracted and secured back in to their holster. Put simply, posi-lock batons can be retracted by pressing a button but friction lock batons require force.

The ESP Friction Lock Baton is made from hardened steel and is therefore resistant against bending even during powerful strikes. Like other friction lock batons, it can be closed by a sharp tap downwards to break the friction fit.

Posi-lock batons have an automatic locking and release system. The baton can be closed by pressing the release button then pushing on the baton tip to retract the shaft fully into the handle. The Bonowi Camlock Baton is a popular posi-lock baton that can be opened by a moderate swing from the wrist as well as by pulling on the tip. Closure is straightforward by pressing the release button on the bottom of the handle, and using the palm of your hand, push the tubes together. The mechanism behind the posi-lock makes it a preferred choice for covert operations as the officer can quietly extend and retract the baton when required.

All officers who have been issued with a baton must regularly inspect it for functionality, damage and wear and tear. If your baton is defective, you must report this to your supervisor immediately. Batons that have been previously damaged can result in failure to work correctly during future incident.   

HeroQuip is an approved uniform and equipment supplier to the Ambulance Service, Police, Fire and Rescue, Ministry of Defence and HM Prison Service. We are listed on a number of Public Sector Frameworks including BlueLight Commercial, Crown Commercial Service (CCS), KCS, NHS Supply Chain and YPO.

If you would like to discuss your baton requirements for your team, please get in touch either on 01423 803999 or email us at [email protected]