Shields were a defensive weapon used in ancient warfare to block attacks from enemy weapons such as swords, arrows, and other weapons. They come in various sizes and shapes, usually rectangular or circular.
riot control shields are used by special event safety, tactical police units, punishment personnel, crisis response teams, Quick Response Forces (QRF), chaos control teams, and general security contractors. Outside of prison cell extraction, riot control shields are almost always used for defensive purposes to protect the public in unstable situations. Their transparent design provides them with unobstructed views and allows for immediate situation assessment. These shields are always used alongside other riot or protective gear. Although tactics may differ, shields can block or deflect threatening objects and individuals. Shields are usually carried with one hand while the other hand remains free.
Unfortunately, some overly fanatical rioters often bring their own riot control shields. They can use imitation airsoft riot control shields or make shields out of wood or scrap metal to be used against police officers or other rioters in case things get out of control.
In some instances, riot or crowd control threats are brief and pre-known. For example, rowdy soccer fans might throw bottles and other items (including coins, batteries, even flares) at players, referees, or security personnel. These situations are mostly short-lived and do not subject officers to continuous barrage attacks. In large-scale protest activities, police officers may face prolonged breaches of rules and violent outbreaks. These dynamic, unstable events may involve violent clashes and attacks between crowds and police officers, as well as breakthroughs of obstacles and borders. In these cases, riot control shields are subject to more abuse.
In prisons or correctional facilities, shields are used by officers for riot control and cell extractions. riot control shields help protect a scene after an active shooter event as well. This involves everything from clearing buildings, directing people to specific areas, and crowd control. Hearing that riot control shields are a commonly used tool to protect or herd animals may surprise people. They cover rabid or frightened animals that may exhibit territorial or defensive behavior. Even birds such as cranes and swans have sharp bills that can cause cuts and bruises. In some cases, zoo keepers and animal control departments use riot control shields to protect themselves while entering enclosures to feed or examine animals.