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Thread: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

  1. #31
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    I'm surprised they let you use such durable flashlights. Some of those look more than heavy enough to cause pain, possibly even minor injury, if they were used to hit someone.
    We get batons for that! LOL

  2. #32
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    This all reminds me of the news article about the police officer sueing a petrol station for tripping over a kerb.

    IMO, she is a prime example of the disgusting compensation culture taking hold in this country. I don't really think a small kerb is sufficient hazard for someone to have to point out to you. I could understand if it was an area with unfamiliar hazards (chemicals/heat/machinery/steep drops) but a petrol station forecourt is a reasonably 'friendly' terrain to work in. Maybe she should have invested in a torch with her previous compensation claim winnings....

    Rant over.

    Interesting history of lights btw, I'd seen the Dragon Light on Police Interceptors or something before and couldn't work out what it was!

    Edit: WOW! Talk about Mr. Angry! I had my grumpy jumper on that day. Apologies y'all.
    Last edited by gravelmonkey; 04-22-2013 at 12:21 PM.

  3. #33

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

    Nice read, thanks for posting.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Nice post. The dept I am in over in the states has a policy of a 2c min 3d max size maglite but there is a stipulation of the wording "equivalent power." A few Surefires in my squad. Then again I wouldn't know about the other 33000 officers in terms of what they use. Funny line, most cols are cheap...

  5. #35

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

    I think the problems might extend to the fire brigade, too.

    There was a large gorse fire near to where I was living a few years ago. A couple of days later a couple of firefighters were refilling a water tank (only there in case the fire brigade needed it), so I went over for a chat and to say thanks. I'm sure their torches were chosen to survive heat or whatever - shame my inova x5 kicked out far more light. With their torches I could see that the tank had some liquid in it, with mine I could see, well, the tank.

  6. #36

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

    No idea what the current UK issue light is, but in the town I live in, all the officers I see have LLP7s, no idea if they all got them themselve or there issued though. but an OK light I guess, better than a Maglite, just.

  7. #37
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Well I retired in October 2013 so no longer have any idea if the mini maglite is still being issued but I would be surprised if anything has changed.

    I bought the Surefire P2X but didn't get the chance to use it on the streets. I bored it to accept a 18650 rechargeable and also bought an ESP holster for it as shown in the picture below.

    If I was still doing the job out on the streets then that would have been with me at all times when on duty.



    When I was on Air Support I carried a Surefire E2L Outdoorsman clipped onto my flightsuit, in addition to a Gerber LED AA light that was given to me by the officer that I replaced, when I retired I presented it to my replacement. If he's still using it then it's been in service since 1996 which is when it was first issued.

  8. #38

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

    Rather surprised to hear that UK officers weren't issued lights at all back in 1983; but had to sign out for one during a shift.

    Still, the topic itself is fascinating. Thanks for making it.
    Last edited by Monocrom; 03-01-2014 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Clarification.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  9. #39

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    If Surefire would bring out a rechargeable G2X Pro, with the High output as the primary, then I think that would be a very good duty flashlight for UK Officers.
    Sadly the closest thing to that today would be the Pelican 7060 model.

    Bit bigger than the SureFire G2X Pro, especially at the head. Though with its two output levels and polymer construction so The Powers At Be don't get upset, especially with its background as a politically correct standard issue flashlight for the LAPD, it should prove beneficial to UK officers.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  10. #40
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Sadly the closest thing to that today would be the Pelican 7060 model.

    Bit bigger than the SureFire G2X Pro, especially at the head. Though with its two output levels and polymer construction so The Powers At Be don't get upset, especially with its background as a politically correct standard issue flashlight for the LAPD, it should prove beneficial to UK officers.
    It's a shame that the 7060 is so expensive considering it only got an output of 164/36 lumens, the SF G2X Pro is much cheaper and has 320/15 Lumens, the $ saving could buy a lot of CR123's.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the SF P1R Peacekeeper, 800/15 lumens, rechargeable and in a size similar to the Fury. If the VOC (Variable Output Tailcap) becomes available as a separate item than that would be a nice package.

    My experience is that most UK Cops don't want to spend money on a quality flashlight, I remember when I first bought a G2 my collegues thought I was mad spending that much on a flashlight!

  11. #41
    Flashaholic* Essexman's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    What a great thread, thanks Dave D. Also thanks for you hard work over the years, I know a couple of serving coppers and some of the stories they tell are shocking.

    My daughters friends father was a member of London Parks Police. He soon found his 2D Maglite didn't cut it on nights. So I lightly modded it for him with a XML LED. He was more than happy! It was a really old Maglite, but it was given to him by his father when he came out of Hendon. His Dad even had his badge No stamped on the tail cap.

  12. #42
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    I think I still have my issued 2D Maglite around somewhere, that's got my warrant number stamped into the tailcap.

  13. #43

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    It's a shame that the 7060 is so expensive considering it only got an output of 164/36 lumens, the SF G2X Pro is much cheaper and has 320/15 Lumens, the $ saving could buy a lot of CR123's.
    True. Though as a standard-issue light, I'm sure some Safety Nazi would find out that primary CR123 cells can vent with flame, and that would be the end of the SF G2X as a possible issued flashlight. With the Pelican 7060, there's no need to touch the rechargeable battery. And its overall stubby length compared to a full-sized light means no chance it'll be used to strike a violent suspect. Barely more than 150 lumens on high-mode doesn't seem like much, but the 7060 was released back when there really weren't a bunch of good options for a bright LED light with decent runtime. And sadly, that many lumens would likely feel like a handheld spot-light to those UK officers forced to use a pathetic old incandescent 2AA Mini-Mag.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that many police officers and detectives in many countries have relied on that old 2AA model as a duty light. But two things.... As a back-up light to a proper flashlight, and only because they had nothing better back then. One police officer who has become a highly respected self-defense authority on the legal issues of use of deadly force, once recounted searching for a suspect who ducked into a darkened warehouse. He was using his SureFire 6P when the light died on him. Apparently the batteries needed changing. He simply pulled out his 2AA Mini-Mag and finished searching using that. But definitely not a good primary carry light for anyone.

    I wonder what the Powers At Be in the UK would say if they ever found out that the 2AA Mini-Mag was originally created to be a kubaton, self-defense weapon, with a handy flashlight feature so civilians who had to use one to defend themselves would not be questioned for carrying it around with them. Oh M@glite will never admit to it. And that original aspect of the 2AA Mini-Mag has become completely obscure. But the history of that model is out there. Plus, looked at side-by-side with an aluminum kubaton; it becomes blatantly obvious what the 2AA Mini-Mag really was created for. (Though hollow inside, compared to a regular kubaton, the batteries inside of it is what gives the light its solidity to be used as a pain-compliance tool or a hammer-fist strike weapon.)

    I'm looking forward to seeing the SF P1R Peacekeeper, 800/15 lumens, rechargeable and in a size similar to the Fury. If the VOC (Variable Output Tailcap) becomes available as a separate item than that would be a nice package.
    Looking forward to the SF P1R myself. Though I'm sure it'll be far more expensive than a Pelican 7060. I honestly wish SureFire hadn't given up on the U2 model. (No updates.) And the variable output tailcap means they gave up on the selector ring of the U2 as well. I'd loved to see an updated U2 with a rechargeable option, more lumens; and nothing else changed. (Even if it ran on primaries, it'd still be worth buying.)

    My experience is that most UK Cops don't want to spend money on a quality flashlight, I remember when I first bought a G2 my collegues thought I was mad spending that much on a flashlight!
    Ironically, quite a few officers in America have that same mentality. If it's not issued to them, they refuse to spend their own money on a needed piece of gear or equipment. It actually got so bad that here in New York City, NYPD officers are required to buy a decent torch with their own money before going out on their very first shift of their new career. Due to the wording and requirements of the regulations, you'll see many NYPD officers walking around with black 2C M@glite models. (Smallest, lightest, most commonly available, and relatively inexpensive flashlight model that conforms to the regulations in place.)

    It just amazes me that relatively intelligent individuals cannot seem to realize the value of investing in proper personal gear or equipment. Regardless of nation, a police officer is someone who can look forward to a long career spanning (realistically speaking) a couple of decades if not longer. In all that time, it's just realistic to expect to chase after a suspect down a dark alley or corridor. Or perpetually be in darkness if one works 3rd Shift.

    One trip to the hospital due to injuring oneself running around in darkness is going to cost more in medical bills, lost time, possibly lost wages; compared to the money "lost" in buying a quality rechargeable torch. Yet for some bizarre reason, a lot of otherwise intelligent individuals can't see that.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  14. #44
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    I'm sure some Safety Nazi would find out that primary CR123 cells can vent with flame, and that would be the end of the SF G2X as a possible issued flashlight.
    There is no issue with CR123 batteries, the job actually issued Dog Handlers (K9 Officers) and members of our Tactical Firearms Unit (SWAT) with the Surefire 6P's.

  15. #45

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    There is no issue with CR123 batteries, the job actually issued Dog Handlers (K9 Officers) and members of our Tactical Firearms Unit (SWAT) with the Surefire 6P's.
    Actually, there is. And it's very well documented on CPF. CR123 cells can vent with flame (basically explode) inside flashlights.

    There are a few basic rules to greatly reduced that possibility:

    1) Never mix & match CR123 cells in the same light. Meaning old cells with new ones. As well as somewhat depleted cells with fresh ones.

    2) Buy only Made in America or Made in Japan cells. No matter how tempting, never buy cheap, No-name, cells from China. Those cells are often dangerous junk which increase the chances of a light using CR123 cells venting with flame. The ones from America, and Japan, are built properly. With safety checks in place. This is vital since the chemistry inside of CR123 cells is actually toxic. And even if flames aren't involved. The last thing you want is a CR123 cell venting anywhere near you.

    Sadly, one of our own has suffered health issues and is still suffering from them due to CR123s venting.

    You can read about it here:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ight-Explosion

    3) To save money on CR123 cells, Buy online, in bulk, and from a trusted online shop such as Lighthound, Bright Guy, or Optics Planet, etc. (Once again, Made in America or Made in Japan.)

    *Another thing that helps to reduce the risk (though ultimately cannot completely eliminate it) is to only use CR123 lights that require only one battery.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  16. #46
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Actually, there is.
    You misunderstood me, I meant there was no issue with our Officers carrying flashlights powered with CR123's as the Police Force issued them.

  17. #47

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

    Ah! Thanks for clarifying.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  18. #48
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    What an excellent thread!

    It's fun to compare to what American police were doing at the time too, when I was an SPO (mid 90's) we were issued,
    • Three uniforms
    • Duty belt (Bright polished leather, later replaced by re-enforced nylon)
    • Radio and holster (shoulder mic came later)
    • Cuffs , keys, holster
    • PR-24 (later replaced with the ASP)
    • Sidearm and holster
    • Eventually...pepper spray


    We had to provide our own,
    • Shoes (there was a stipend)
    • Multi-tool (only an idiot skipped this one)
    • Cell phone
    • Spare magazines and carrier
    • Flashlight


    I was in a good sized metropolitan police force and yet in 1993-94 flashlights were STILL mostly an afterthought in my department. That was really odd to me as I generally worked second shift.

    Initially most of us had some variation on a 3 "D" cell maglight and we also usually carried a 2xAA mini-mag somewhere on our person. Hey at the time what did we know, with the Mag brand stuff at least we had some sort of generally reliable light to use.

    However there were a few renegades who sprung for their own Magchargers and got permission to mount charging cradles in the cruisers and that triggered a pretty united push such that within a year we had convinced the department to buy some Streamlight SL-20 lights and install mounted chargers in the vehicles.

    I still remember how the SL-20 lights were assigned to a cruiser and they were supposed to STAY with that cruiser but the PM shift officers quickly cherry-picked the best lights and kept them in spite of heavy haranguing from the duty commanders.

    Gosh, we still carried the Mini-Maglight as a backup for what seemed like forever until one day a Surefire representative showed up with a "demo" batch of 6P lights with these new-fangled CR123 lithium batteries (yeah I know, CR123 was NOT new in the mid 90s but again, what did we know at the time <grin>). We damn near KILLED each other trying to get those Surefires!

    By the time I left (late 90's) it was department issued Streamlights (some SL-20 variant), a personally purchased Surefire 6P or 9P (dept provided batteries), and the occasional battered old Magcharger still holding on.
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
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  19. #49
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Unfortunately the bean counters aren't the ones having to work the late/night shift and in reality when you try and convince them that what we were issued with isn't suitable for the task they are not interested.

    I went back out on the streets for 7 weeks at the tail end of 2012, between helicopter jobs, and got issued with a full new uniform and equipment, it did make me grin when I was handed the Mini Maglite incan!

    So in my 30 years service we went from getting issued with nothing to being issued with a Mini Maglite, some would say that's progress!

  20. #50
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    I'm a member of a FaceBook page for Old and New member of the Police force that I served with and one of my older friends posted a photo of a Lamp that was used until the EverReady rubber torch was introduced in the 1970's.



    The Traffic Guardian Hand Lamp was made by Forster Equipment Company Limited of Leicestershire, England. It was powered by a 3R12 4.5 Volt battery, which was flat with two long metal contacts on the top edge.

    The Lamp is about 6" tall and 1 1/4" thick. These Lamps would date to pre 1927, when they were replaced by a cylindrical model, however these Lamps were still in service in the 1960's and early 1970's. However this information was obtained form another forum so I do not know the accuracy of this information.

    There were minor variation in this style of lamp produced and the Traffic Guardian version convex lens had red and green filters that could slide across the lens for traffic control.

    There is a button at the top that could be pressed to flash the lamp or pressed and twisted to put the lamp on continuously.

    On the rear were two folding handles and a clip so the lamp could be clipped onto a coat or belt.

    The brass plate would have the details of the Police Force that they belonged to and an issue number, probably so that they could be booked out on the night shift.

    Inside the lamp was a spare bulb.

    The photo above is not the Traffic Guardian version however it was the best photo that I could find of this style of lamp.

    The photo below shows the actual lamp, which is the Traffic Guardian, that was issued to my friend in 1961, he still has it.


  21. #51

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

    Normally I hate it when topics that are years old get bumped. But your's was completely worth it. Thank you for that.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  22. #52

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Normally I hate it when topics that are years old get bumped. But your's was completely worth it. Thank you for that.
    I like see-ing old topics bump'd. Especially ones like this. Interesting to see how things used to (and apparently still do) work across the big pond.

    Sure beats those "why I hate my flashlight" or "brand xxx tint sucks" threads we're carpet bomb'd with these days....

    Hopefully all you LEO's make it home safe every morning. Heaven knows it's bad out there these days.

    God bless all of you and Happy Fathers Day.
    John 3:16

  23. #53
    Flashaholic* Nyctophiliac's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    I Like that Traffic Lamp Dave D. I have an ancient Belgian army lamp that is similar in many respects, but this Police issued light has a look of quality about it.

    Nice Bump!

  24. #54
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    I like see-ing old topics bump'd. Especially ones like this. Interesting to see how things used to (and apparently still do) work across the big pond.

    Sure beats those "why I hate my flashlight" or "brand xxx tint sucks" threads we're carpet bomb'd with these days....

    Hopefully all you LEO's make it home safe every morning. Heaven knows it's bad out there these days.

    God bless all of you and Happy Fathers Day.
    Nice post, and my feelings exactly.

    Resurrected topics can be frustrating depending on how the new posters' text adds to the thread.

    This one was good.
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  25. #55

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

    Nice bump indeed. Always nice to have a good narrative to read. Thanks to the posters and bumpers!
    Thanks, CPF!

  26. #56
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    great and kind of depressing read. Man first responders in the UK got it rough! Here in Fairfax County Virginia just 15 minutes directly south of D.C. the police always have the latest of everything. Surefire Fury's are standard issue and officers get into trouble if for instance they forget to stay on top of keeping fresh cells in them and they dont work when needed. Latest bullet proof vests, radios, side arms(.357 Sigs)their cruisers ever since 9/11 have a shotgun and an M16/M4 etc. air tasers you name it. The police helicopters not only have multi million candela lights they have infra red and night vision fully digital cockpits. I am pretty much right on the Potomac River they also have patrol boats the latest and greatest. They are sneaky and very fast on the water.

  27. #57
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    I finally acquired myself one of the Ever Ready rubber torches that I used to carry on foot patrol in the early 1980's.

    It was as bad as I remember them!!

    I estimate that the output is between 5-10 lumens, very orange, and is just about enough light to prevent you from tripping over something.

    The photo's below shows it alongside a Surefire Lawman. They are very similar in length but apart from that similarity they are light years apart in all other aspects.





    The Ever Ready's were used from the early 1970's to the late 80's when they were replaced with personal issue Maglite 2D's.

    I'll be adding an Maglite 2D cell incan to my collection next, I just feel the need to see those 27 lumens putting the Ever Ready to shame!!
    Last edited by Dave D; 05-13-2018 at 12:48 AM.

  28. #58
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Technology has certainly come a long way. I started in policing a decade ago and we were still being issued incandescent Maglites back then.

    That thing doesnt look like it was much fun to carry around either. I take it that you just kept it in a trenchoat pocket? From watching TV shows and news from the period it looks like the standard uniform was tunic and trousers. No belt loops or pouches?

  29. #59
    Flashaholic* Dave D's Avatar
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    Default Re: British Police Flashlights over the past 30 years.

    Carried in the hand most of the time, they were only taken out on foot patrol when it was dark.

    You couldn't tell how long the batteries would last either so it was always a bit of a gamble.

    Indeed standard uniform was the tunic and custodian helmet, we had a long trouser pocket for our truncheon but that was it.




  30. #60

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

    And then we have the other extreme in South Africa.

    "Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance (DA) is set to write to the Secretary of Police, Alvin Rapea, to request an investigation of the expenditure of over R52 million on torches.

    According to reports, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has paid Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) over R52 million for a contract for 169 torches." R52 million is about $4.5 million...

    All my respect and gratitude to those who serve and protect.

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