Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Police issue handcuffs vary dramatically from force to force and even by each new recruit intake.  It was originally the company Hiatt that made the vast majority of the "Rigid" handcuffs that most police officers love, also known as the "Speedcuff".  The old style Hiatt cuffs were designed with a solid central piece of ergonomically designed plastic between the two end "bracelets" which is designed to be gripped in one hand by the responsible officer for maximum control of the detainee.

As you can see from the image the central "grip" is curved to fit comfortably and securely in the hand.

This model of handcuff is hard to come by as Hiatt & Co have now gone out of business, and when they closed down they still held the patent on the specific style.  For a long time there was nothing quite like it on the market, although the company TCH now make a very similar handcuff for which they must have found a solution to the original patent problem to produce.

In the interim it fell to US company ASP Inc. (Armament Systems and Procedures) to produce its range of semi-rigid handcuffs.  Asp cuffs were hinged to fold in the middle which made them compact and convenient to wear on a belt and due to the bi-lateral only movement in the hinge allowed a fair degree of control of the detainee when gripping the centre of the handcuff.  The hinge of course did reduce the control compared the the Hiatt Speedcuff design.

ASP also produce a range of chain link cuffs as well as plastic restraints or as they are more colloquially known - plasticuffs .  Both the rigid and chain link handcuffs as well as the plasticuffs are available in tactical black as well as what seems like an odd choice - bright yellow!  The bright yellow colouring however serves a purpose and these are know in the trade as "identifier cuffs" as it makes a detainee more visible.  There are also in fact bright pink handcuffs which have been adopted by some prison services in an effort to reduce the "tough guy" image of a prisoner being detained in cuffs and make them embarrassed to be seen in the bright pink bracelets.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Cadet Boots

When it comes to buying Cadet boots price has got to be a major consideration.  Between the ages of 12 and 18 most peoples feet continue growing rapidly so investing a lot in a pair of boots that will only last 6-8 months before the cadet out grows them is really not necessary.  Chances are the cadet will need larger pair of boots before the boots start to fail them in the field, especially if they are only parading once a or twice a week with the odd camp once or twice a year.

For most cadets, black "uniform" looking boots will be sufficient. A leather or "action leather" toe that can get a nice shine for parade and mainly leather side construction, at least below the line of bloused combats any way will be all that is needed.  Sole wise something with a fairly chunky tread pattern for grip on mud, grass or gravel when on exercise is going to cover most needs.  A highly slip resistant compound with SRA, B or C rating wont really be necessary for a cadets needs whether they are police or army, or any other branch (ACF, RAF, Marines etc.)

With that in mind a passable pair of light weight cadet boots would be something from the Grafters Range which are all under £50 and should last as long as the cadet still fits into them (but possibly not that much longer).  For a few quid more you can splash out on a pair of Magnums or Bates boots, which are much more popular with the serving uniformed services and have a good reputation as cadet boots for their durability and suitability.  Magnum and Bates tend to use more whole grain leather, or higher quality action leathers which do tend to polish up a lot better for parade and you can get a decent bull on the toe then as well.

Once cadets reach the age of 16 or a bit older their feet may have stopped growing and investing in a pair of Lowas might not seem so silly if a future career in the forces beckons or even if they for see an active outdoor lifestyle with hiking etc. being a regular activity in the future.  Or if their parents are particularly minted a pair of Danner Acadia Boots would probably do down a treat with any cadet lucky enough to find them under the tree on Christmas morning.