Riot police

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Rank of Icelandic National Police officers in full riot gear during the 2008 Icelandic lorry driver protests

Riot police are police who are organised, deployed, trained or equipped to confront crowds, protests or riots.

Riot police may be regular police who act in the role of riot police in particular situations or they may be separate units organised within or in parallel to regular police forces. Riot police are used in a variety of different situations and for a variety of different purposes. They may be employed to control riots as their name suggests, to disperse or control crowds, to maintain public order or discourage criminality, to protect people or property, to function as a tool of political repression by breaking up protests and suppressing dissent or civil disobedience.

Riot gear[edit]

A police officer in riot gear

Riot police often use special equipment termed riot gear to help protect themselves and attack others. Riot gear typically includes personal armor, batons, riot shields and riot helmets. Many riot police teams also deploy specialized less-than-lethal weapons, such as pepper spray, tear gas, rifles that fire rubber bullets, stun grenades, and Long Range Acoustic Devices.

List of riot police organizations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]