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Police to test laser gun that blinds rioters

Police in the UK are to trial a laser gun that fires a blinding wall of light in a bid to stop rioters.

The SMU 100 costs £25,000 and sends out a 'wall of light' that temporarily blinds anyone caught in its beam, which can be three metres square and projected to distances of up to 500m (1,640ft).

Similar weapons have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect military convoys from insurgent attacks.

Paul Kerr, the managing director of the Clyde-based Photonic Security Systems who developed the SMU 100, told The Sunday Times that police could "paint" potential offenders with the laser to make them think twice about their actions.

The British government is also considering the use of long-range pepper-spray missiles and wireless stun guns.

In August the Met police authorised the firing of rubber bullets against demonstrators for the first time in England.

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