A riot control shields is a polycarbonate (reinforced plastic) or metal shield used to protect against attacks from knives, thrown objects, kicks, punches, and other physical assaults. Police, security personnel, and correctional officers use riot control shields to protect the safety of the public and law enforcement personnel during riots or violent protests. Although shields have existed for thousands of years, transparent protective shields became necessary and popular after the violent protest activities in Europe in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. They enable operators to view in all directions through the protective shields without causing visual barriers, making the ability to scan potential threats and circumvent potential dangers essential in unstable situations.
There are different types of riot control shields design available on the market, each with its unique advantages and limitations. Therefore, appropriate protective shields should be selected by individual departments or agencies for the specific threats they need to defend against. In any case, officers must always maintain control over the shield.
Riot control shields can protect users from various blunt and missile injuries. In riot or melee situations, rioters will use anything nearby as a weapon. The thickness of riot control shields varies from 2 to 8 millimeters, most made of polycarbonate from four to six millimeters thick. These protective shields help protect an area, control tense situations, and help law enforcement agencies push back individuals when necessary. Considering the dynamic nature of these events, protective shields can protect users from many throwing threats, including chairs, rocks, bricks, batons, baseball bats, and pry bars. In addition, they can also prevent punching, kicking, and spitting.
Depending on the riot control shields manufacturer, the shield may contain various other protections. Some are flame-resistant and can protect them from high temperature and heat. Others have inherent protection against chemical and biological substances such as blood, urine, and feces. Cleaning and disinfecting protective shields to prevent contamination and infectious diseases should adhere to standard operating procedures and manufacturer cleaning recommendations.
Like anything else, riot control shields will be damaged and destroyed due to excessive or repeated impacts. The edges of the protective shield are also vulnerable to damage caused by drops. Riot control shields are not bulletproof or bullet-resistant. In such applications, bulletproof shields are necessary. Most riot control shields are also ineffective in blocking arrows.