What Equipment Do The Police Carry? [Belts & Vests]

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In the United Kingdom, police officers are equipped with a variety of essential items that are carried on their belts. These items are critical for them to perform their duties effectively and safely.

Standard Equipment

The standard equipment that can be

on a UK police officer’s belt typically includes handcuffs, batons, radio, and PAVA spray, among other items.

Collectively, these items are called PPE (personal prtective equipment). Check out this article for other police terminology.

Uniformed officers often use a duty belt or attach pouches to their stab vests to store and organise their gear.

However, plain clothes officers may opt for a harness that can be worn under their clothing for a more discreet appearance.

This range of equipment is meticulously designed to cover a broad spectrum of situations that officers may encounter while on duty.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards using carry systems on stab vests to distribute the weight of these essential items more evenly.

This change has been instrumental in easing the burden on officers who carry these items throughout their shifts.


Handcuffs are an indispensable piece of equipment for police officers.

They are used to secure suspects and ensure their safety during arrest and transportation.

The standard handcuffs used by officers in the UK are rigid handcuffs, which are renowned for their durability and reliability.


The baton is another essential piece of equipment carried by police officers.

The most common type of baton used in the UK is an extendable or collapsible baton.

Batons serve as a means of protection and can be employed to subdue aggressive individuals when necessary.


One of the most critical pieces of equipment that a UK police officer carries is a radio.

Radios are a lifeline for officers, providing a direct line of communication with their colleagues, dispatchers, and emergency services.

A radio can save your life as much as any other item of PPE.

PAVA Spray

PAVA spray is an incapacitant spray carried by officers on their belts.

It is used to temporarily disable a potentially dangerous individual, allowing the officer to restrain or arrest them safely.

Other Equipment

Other equipment commonly carried on UK police belts includes torches, keys, multi-tools, and personal protection devices such as tasers for taser-trained officers.

Specialised Equipment

In addition to the standard equipment, there are also specialised items that some officers carry.


Taser-trained officers carry either an X26 or X2 taser on their belts. Tasers are considered a useful tool in subduing violent or threatening individuals without resorting to lethal force.


Although most police officers in the UK do not carry firearms, there are specially trained and authorised firearms officers who carry various types of guns.

These can include handguns (self-loading pistols), carbines, tactical rifles, and precision rifles fitted with telescopic sights.

Utility Pouches

Utility pouches are another essential part of a UK police officer’s gear.

Police officers in the UK often carry a range of essential items in these utility pouches on their duty belts. Some of the common equipment found in these pouches includes first aid kits, leg restraints, and notebooks/documents/digital device.

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