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Asian interest in batons.

			Asian interest in batons.

	A South-East Asian policeforce had expressed interest in buying 
3000 used, short, rubber batons from the Victoria Police after an 
advertisement calling for tenders earlier this year.

	About six Australian firms, at least two of which are involved in 
selling goods to the security industry, have also expressed interest in 
buying the batons, which were withdrawn from use in the early 1980s.

	Made of rubber with a steel shaft down about 30 centimetres long 
and have an imitation leather thong at one end that could be wound around 
an officer's wrist. They were carried by police in a special pocket sewn 
into a trouser leg or skirt.

	After they were withdrawn, some were melted down and sold as 
scarp metal, others were returned to supply.

	The supply manager of the Victoria Police, Mr Peter hale, said 
the South-East Asian police force that had expressed interest had been 
sent a single baton as a sample. Police were awaiting a reply.

	The batons were apparently withdrawn after their effectiveness 
was questioned. They were replaced by long steel batons, which in turn 
have been superseded by extendable poly-carbonate batons.

	These are still being issued. They extend from 15 to 70 
centimetres and were introduced to try to improve the safety of police 
and civilains in confrontational situations.

	Mr Hale said that because the batons were a prohibited weapon, 
buyer would have to meet strict criteria. The short batons could be sold 
only to companies holding a permit and must be sold offshore.

	If an Australian company wanted to buy the batons, it would have 
to undertake to sell them offshore.

[By David Adams, Chief Crime, Reporter, 4 July, 1996].