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A six-month Bay of Plenty trial involving police using a more concentrated gel-based pepper spray has been extended.
Police said today they would continue with trialling the new form of OC (oleoresin capsicum) pepper spray.
The spray contains approximately six times more capsicum than the current spray, meaning that it has a more effective immediate impact, and takes slightly longer to wear off. It also contains a non-permanent natural red pigment, which aids aiming and placement of the spray.
The extended trial be held in the eastern police district, following the evaluation of two forms of the spray in the Bay of Plenty in November last year - a traditional liquid stream-based spray and the slightly thicker gel-based version.
National manager operational services Inspector Jason Ross said police favoured the gel-based spray which they believed was less affected by wind and other environmental conditions.
This meant less risk of cross-contamination. Also, due to its slightly thicker consistency, it had greater range, Mr Ross said.
In the meantime, the stream-based version of the spray will continue to be trialled in the Bay of Plenty alongside the Eastern District gel spray trial.