As everybody knows, the UK Law is very strict about carrying any tool for self-defence in public places. Where in Poland I can enjoy carrying my CS Gas, lockable knife (any length), baton or my Glock 19 with attached extra light to it to protect myself in the UK situation is way different.
In the UK, any object which is carried on the person on purpose to defend a potential attack is classified as “an offensive weapon.” If you get caught in a public place without reasonable excuse, you may be arrested and prosecuted. The same goes for using such an object in self-defence. The good news is that in Britain the law is enforced contextually and each case is based on individual circumstances, so make sure your circumstances fit your story of defence if you get caught using any object for self-defence of getting caught carrying it in a public place. You always need what it’s called “a good reason”. Some “good reasons” for specific tools are regulated by law, so always seek for a piece of legal advice if you are not sure what you can carry and what’s puts you in trouble with the law.
Even though UK Law is super strict, there is one specific tool that I recommend to carry with you all the time, regardless if it’s night time or a bright summer day. I’m talking about a FLASHLIGHT!
Now we know why we should carry a flashlight, so let’s talk about where mount it on our clothing. In my personal opinion, first of all, you should carry it in the same place all the time. This will give you confidence that every time you reach for it it’s going to be the same place and the flashlight will be there. If this is your only tool to carry and your primary tool then you should have it in your pocket on your dominant side. For right-handed people, it’s going to be the right front pocket of your trousers. You can also carry it in your back pocket on the dominant side, but this is personal preferences.
Make sure you clip it with a clip to the outside, that means flashlight should be hidden in your pocket with the thumb switch facing up.
For Law Enforcement place for the flashlight would be on the support side as on their dominant side, they usually have their primary weapon. In the UK it can be a baton, taser or firearm.
In general, you should own a few, to be honest. I believe you are familiar with the famous quote: “Two is one, one is none, none is stupid”.
It depends on your budget! You can buy very cheap NO NAME one from Amazon for £4.99 or it the price can go as high as £1200 for SUREFIRE UDR Cominator.
Here are some manufactures that you can check when choosing a flashlight for you.
SUREFIRE – STREAMLIGHT – FENIX – ANKER – KLARUS
If you are a police officer you may also check the ASP a they have all their products designed for LE and Security Personnel.
In my personal opinion if you want to spend less than £40 on a flashlight it’s probably going to be a good choice for a household use. Anything above you may consider a flashlight that will serve you well when you need it under various weather conditions outside.
I personally use for low profile ASP Acribe AAA and it’s brilliant as it fits any clothing and does the job in the dark and for longer outdoor trips KLARUS ST15. In my house I keep ASP XT DF.
Here is a general rule: The greater the lumens number, the better! It’s true, but for indoor or vehicle use you have to take the possibility of a backsplash into account. Backsplash happens when you flashlight the object which reflects the light from your torch and you receive it back on the face. This can cause some serious issues and gets you blinded instead of the threat. Be aware of that.
For in house use, I do recommend something which gives about 250 – 400 Lumens. When you are checking the room, you can use the technique of directing the light towards the ceiling. The reflected light will come back and illuminate the rest of the room enough that you can scan it and gather data about the possible threat. By using this technique, you can reduce the risk of the backsplash.
For outdoor use, I’d recommend as many lumens as possible. Keeping it in a realistic numbers 1200 – 2000 would do the job for sure. It’s also good to have an additional switch on the front of your torch to change the intensity of the light, but again this depends on user and purpose for the flashlight. If you use it purely for self-defence, this switch may not be necessary as you’ll keep your flashlight always on the maximum lumens option. If you use it however for lighting you way back home from your 2.00pm 10.00pm shift you may consider having this option as 2000 lumens all the way may not only get your own eyes tired but also your flashlight will become hot.
Stay safe and out of trouble.
Bartosz Zukowski – Self Defence Expert
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