News & Views

Victoria Police Weapon ID guide

This guide is to help journalists, legal and human rights observers identify weapons that are currently available to Victoria Police. This is not an exhaustive list. It includes weapons used in crowd-control / public-order management contexts. 

The guide is available to download as a foldable A4 leaflet here (PDF)

Note: Using, drawing or threatening use of any weapon is considered a ‘use of force’ for which the police officer is both legally and organisationally accountable. Any use of force must be proportionate, reasonable under the circumstances and in accordance with specific legal requirements (eg. legislative provisions or common law), s.462A Crimes Act 1958, s 322k Crimes Act 1958 (VIC).

Adang, O.M.J., Mensink, J., 2004. Pepper spray: An unreasonable response to suspect verbal resistance. Policing 27, 206–219. doi:10.1108/13639510410536823

Amnesty International US, The Human Rights Impact of Less Lethal Weapons and Other Law Enforcement Equipment 2015

BMJ “Report raises concern over health risks of tasers.” ScienceDaily, 18 November 2015.

College of Policing (2020) Code of Practice on Armed Policing and Police use of Less Lethal Weapons UK

Haar RJ, Iacopino V, Ranadive N, et al. Death, injury and disability from kinetic impact projectiles in crowd-control settings: a systematic review. BMJ Open 2017

Lethal in Disguise: The Health Consequences of Crowd- Control Weapons | American Civil Liberties Union & Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) 2016

O. Dyer. Tasers. BMJ, 2015; 351 (nov17 2): h6070 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.h6070

Office of Police Integrity (OPI) Review of the Use of Force by and against Victorian police, 2009,

Victoria Police, Operational safety and the use of force. Victoria Police Manual (VPM) FF-198454 October 2019


This guide was produced by the Police Accountability Project

In association with Melbourne Activist Legal Support


The 2 page guide is available to download as a foldable leaflet here (PDF)

Melbourne Activist Legal Support (MALS)

is an independent volunteer group of lawyers, human rights advocates, law students, and para-legals. MALS trains and fields Legal Observer Teams at protest events, monitors and reports on policing at activist events, provides training and advice to activist groups on legal support structures, and develops and distributes legal resources for positive social movements. MALS works in conjunction with law firms, community legal centres, and a range of local, national and international human rights agencies. We stand up for civil & political rights.
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