With the current rise in protests in universities, mines and other sectors across South Africa, it is always important to have an organised security and protection plan in place to avoid rioting, people getting hurt, and damage to property. SSG Security offers professionally trained, well-experienced and equipped Reaction Units for riot control in order to assist in mitigating these risks.
Here we look at understanding what riot control is and what agents and equipment is used in riot control.
What Is Riot Control?
Riot control is the actions taken by security forces or riot control personnel to control those involved in a riot or protest. They will do this by either arresting or dispersing those in the demonstration.
Riot control can aid in containing spontaneous riots by using clear instructions or loud noises. This enables the crowd to stop and think for a moment before causing significant damage and harm.
This is not the case in a planned riot, where anger is involved. Here security forces will need more serious methods to control the crowd.
Riot Control Agents
Riot control agents are non-lethal agents that are used to disperse crowds. The most common of these that are used are pepper spray and tear gas.
- Pepper spray is a chemical derived from the fruit in plants of the Capsicum genus, which includes chilies. Pepper spray affects the eyes and breathing almost immediately after spraying and is popularly used by riot control personnel to neutralise a protest.
- Tear gas can be used as a hand-held spray or, more commonly, launched into crowds in a canister to incapacitate demonstrators temporarily.
Both of these are used for their effectiveness and low risks involved.
When a more serious riot breaks out, the use of rubber bullets, tasers, batons, and other weapons may come into effect.
Riot Control Equipment
To protect themselves, the reaction unit will wear protective equipment such as:
- Riot helmets
- Gas masks
- Riot shields
- Bulletproof vests
- Distinguishing uniforms
These are all designed to protect the reaction unit from the crowd in instances where weapons or objects such as glass bottles are being thrown.
At SSG Holdings, we have professional Reaction Units experienced in dispersing large crowds such as university protests or other protests in industries such as the mining industry. Contact us today for professional risk reduction solutions that can be deployed at short notice with the right equipment and expertise.