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‘The public is crying out for this’: Police to unveil high-tech weaponry for brawls and riots

Rioters are being warned police will come armed with new high-tech weaponry the next time there’s a major public order incident like the Collingwood riot.

The arsenal includes semi automatic 175-shot pepper ball rifles, 40 mm launches that can be fired from some 50 metres away, capsicum canisters and stinger grenades, all of which are non-lethal.

Sly of the Underworld told 3AW Breakfast it was a “pivotal moment” for Victoria Police, who have been criticized for the handling of the incident on the weekend which saw dozens of youth rioting and brawling in the streets.

“The chief commissioner yesterday told The Age that they’ve got all this equipment they have been training with for 6 months,” he said.

“It will finish an incident (like Collingwood) in a heartbeat.

“If they use any of this gear, any form of brawl, if you rolled in one of these distraction devices to one of these crazy parties, it is over in a heartbeat.

“The police privately concerned the public will find this really confronting, I think the public will be cheering.

“The public is crying for this sort of response.”

Related: Police hit back at reports of a ‘no arrest’ policy after wild Collingwood brawl

Police chief Graham Ashton told Sly in The Age public disorder will “not be tolerated”.

“What happened there was unacceptable,” Sly told Ross and John.

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Assistant Commissioner of transit and public safety command Chris O’Neill said they were rolling out a range of crowd control weapons that will operate as part of the Public Order Response team.

“What we’ve got with this crowd control equipment, it gives us more tactics,” he told Neil Mitchell.

Neil: You’ve got the powers you need?

Assistant Commissioner: Absolutely.

Neil: Got the people you need?

Assistant Commissioner: Absolutely.

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