Police may use sonic cannons against protesters as a means of controlling out-of-hand demonstrations at the G20 Summit in Brisbane this weekend.
Queensland Police are understood to have two models and reportedly informed protest groups of the potential use of the devices, while the Brisbane Community Action Network was afforded a live demonstration of the cannons.
“We were told that we could go out to the police training academy and see this device, which was the latest in crowd control,” BrisCAN spokesperson Adrian Skerritt said. “It seemed an exercise in intimidation.”
The devices have the ability to produce incapacitating siren noises, resulting in extreme discomfort with a range of between 600m (handheld) and 2km (attached to a vehicle).
Fairfax Media reported that although Queensland Police acknowledged they had “long-range acoustic hailing devices”, they insisted these would not be used for crowd controlling purposes.
“The devices may be used at G20 for communication with large crowds,” a Queensland Police spokesperson said.
“Under no circumstances will they be used as cannons or as a use of force option… no additional devices will be bought into Brisbane for G20.”
Such devices have been used at previous G20 summits, most notably in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2009.
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