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Thread: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

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  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    WARNINGThis thread won't get your heart racing!!

    I joined the Police in 1983 and in those day the only thing you got issued with, besides your uniform, was a pocket book and a wooden truncheon.

    My first night on foot patrol I was advised that I could book out one of the station flashlights, an Eveready 2 x D Cell Rubber Torch.



    Not what you would call High Tech! The one's that we used were black but I couldn't fine a photograph of one, so You'll have to make do with the red version.

    Of course the car driver's got the car allocated flashlight, we called them a Bardic, which had a filter which could be turned across the bulb to give either white, red, green or amber light. The light output however was not a lot better than the rubber Eveready!



    The example above has Telecom on it so it wasn't just the Police that used them. I think they were made to attach to train wagons.

    In the late eighties we all got issued with Maglite D cell torches, and at the time we thought they were the bees knees!



    The cars also got an upgrade with Handheld 12v Halogen lamps that plugged into a portable 12v battery.



    Then around the turn of the century the powers that be decided that we should all be issued with Mini Maglites instead of the D cell Maglites. Needless to say they weren't ideal, and they are still being issued today.



    But the cars were being equipped with a far better light that is again is still in service today, the British made 'Dragon Light', these lamps tended to be on charge at the Police Station and you would take one out on patrol with you to ensure that the battery was fully charged.
    They put out a lot of light but are quiet heavy.



    So you could either chase an offender down a dark alley with your issued Mini Maglite or grab the Dragon Light, needless to say most officers chase them dowm the alley without any additional lighting and rely on their night vision! Fortunately in the UK there is little chance of being shot or stabbed and because of that we are issued with bullet and knife resistant vests, which weigh an additional 14lbs, so the chance of catching said offender is slim anyway!!

    Fortunately for the past nine years I have been a member of the local Air Support Unit so the offenders have difficulty outrunning a Eurocopter EC135, when I want to light then up I use the 30 million candle power Nitesun fitted to the aircraft.



    Now that's what I call a flashlight!!!

    Stay safe out there.
    Last edited by Dave D; 04-11-2013 at 01:18 AM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Thanks for the history, Dave. It looks like there's still some room for improvement. Surely it's time to move up from the Mini-Mag.

    Geoff

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    It just goes to show that the people who make the decisions about the equipment issued have no idea as to how effective the equipment they are supplying is.

    The bottom line is the cost, I submitted reports suggesting that all officers working the streets should be issued with Surefire G2's when they first came out.

    I even managed to get an offer of a discounted price for bulk purchasing them but as soon as the bean counters saw the price they wouldn't even entertain the idea.

    Only five months left until I retire and the situation is getting worse, the UK Police are facing 25% financial cutbacks, we have lost 10 helicopters from around the country leaving 23 to cover England and Wales.

    This video sums it up nicely.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a88Rc4RhQJk

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Just remembered that Dog Handlers (K-9 Officers) and Firearms Officers (SWAT) did get issued with Surefire 6P's.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Thanks for the history!! I am in LE here in the states. Sorry to hear about the lack of appropriate lighting you are issued. I do however know all about funding issues. Not to open a can of worms, but will the departments let officers carry personal lights? Keep us posted and be safe!!!
    FENIX E01, E05, E15, LD22, PD32 S2, TK15 S2, TK35 U2. STREAMLIGHT PolyTac LED, Strion LED[B]. Foursevens Quark Pro QP2L-X. And a couple of old MagLights for nastalgia, and lets face it- if you ever lose your hammer... 18650 Charging provided by Xtar WP2 II.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightCrazy View Post
    Not to open a can of worms, but will the departments let officers carry personal lights?
    It's not a problem carrying your own flashlight, I quickly bought something similar to a Maglite when I first joined and in later years I bought myself one of the incandescent Sure G2's which I carried on my duty belt in a Modanock baton holder, which I shortened with a hack saw to just a bit longer than the G2 so that the tailcap switch wouldn't activate the light whilst it was in its holder. We were issued with the Modanock expandable batons so it was fairly easy to get an extra holder.


  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Nyctophiliac's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Great history of UK Police lights Dave. Also nice to see a couple of the older lights. My Dad had at least two of the rubber covered 2D lights in our house and in the car. I still have two of the Bardic lanterns, ex British rail and modded to take alternate batteries.

    I have asked police Officers in London about their lights issue - normally when I spy an interesting light on their belts. The ones with surefires (G2, C2 and Z2 I have seen) always say they are their own lights and lament the issue of Maglites as the norm. They seemed to like the fact that I, a Civvy, was also carrying a Surefire. A friendly bunch of chaps and chappesses IMHO.

    Loved the big Helicopter light - often see those deployed in Central London.

    I'm sure those five months will go quickly. Happy retirement.

  8. #8
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightCrazy View Post
    Not to open a can of worms, but will the departments let officers carry personal lights?
    I'm also a UK cop and my force is totally different to DaveD's in terms of issuing outdated lights, mine doesn't do this.

    In fact they don't issue any lights, if you want a flashlight, you HAVE to bring your own!!! I'm still shocked by the fact that a lot of cops don't carry a flashlight at all!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic plaguem's Avatar
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    Default British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    A very enjoyable post. Lights and history, can't go wrong.

  10. #10
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    Default British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Nice post. Thanks.

    A shame to see that issued equipment is often sub-par though...makes it hard for these folks to do their jobs effectively.

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