Stopping rogue vessels

The Smith Institute helped to develop an effective defence against maritime attacks.

The problem

For some time, police have been able to stop suspect or fugitive vehicles on the road. The Home Office Scientific Development Branch collaborated with industry to develop a new defensive system designed to stop terrorists or criminals in small boats without resorting to lethal force. The system works by disabling the propulsion system of a small vessel.

The solution

HOSDB has built on its good industrial relationships with the companies working in this area to develop a practical solution that meets the Government’s needs. It trialled systems and fed back results to industry for further development and resulted in the testing of a new device as reported by the BBC. In parallel, the Smith Institute reviewed HOSDB’s experiments to ensure the development of good-quality science, as well as enhanced operational capability for the police.

The benefit

The work undertaken in this project was one of three areas the Smith Institute helped the Home Office to develop.

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