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.

No comments:

Post a Comment