Suffolk Police are appealing for the return of a can of PAVA incapacitant spray knocked from an officer’s uniform during an arrest early on Sunday morning.
In spite of an extensive search of the area in Church Lane, Stowmarket, they have been unable to find the 4in long can of spray, which contains a solution of a synthetic capsaicinoid, the type of chemical that makes chillis hot. In spite of making the appeal the can was still missing this morning (Monday).
Suffolk Police warn the spray ‘can cause harm’ if misused and its possession is a criminal offence. They urge anyone who has it to take it to the nearest police station or call the police on 101.
Chief inspector Kim Warner said: “This is an extremely rare incident in which an item of police equipment has been lost during the course of a difficult arrest.
“Items such as this are handled with the utmost care and officers have extensive training in how to use them. They should not be used by members of the public.”
The spray is a small grey cannister with a flip-top button and is in a black holder with a black string attached.
The officers were in Church Lane dealing with a suspected breach of a Section 27 ‘direction to leave’ order. A 23 year old man from Diss was arrested for failing to comply with the order and assault on police.