New Zealand security industry rules, prohibit officers from using enforcement tools such as, guns, tasers and batons, where officers in other parts of the world have immediate access to these resources; the disadvantage of these limitations in New Zealand, ultimately restricts and affects situation response efficiency and safety, due to the lack of available regulation compliant resources.
The situation remains that many security and enforcement officers are often working against greater numbers or patrolling alone; the majority of the time, only armed with a torch as a means for situation response and defence.
Situations frequently emerge where offenders manage to put up sustained resistance, leaving officers vulnerable to the increased risk of bystanders becoming involved on an offender’s behalf, increasing the risk of potential injury to officers and offenders with every passing second, particularly when restraining an offending subject while applying handcuffs.
Realising that in order to take the concept further, Sten would require increased ongoing support, which during a Jiu Jitsu event in 2011, the idea was presented to Simon Ogden who showed great interest in the concept, which led to the project gaining further momentum, with the sourcing of additional financial and commercial support.
Since then; several prototypes have been developed which have been tested in live training by New Zealand Police; The level of compliance achieved even with the first crude prototype was incredibly promising, the handle/grip format allowed the cuff itself to be used, in extremis, as an impact, pressure, and leverage tool; it became immediately apparent that the simplicity and safety of the basic method of application could offer optimised professional training time to effective service; this was supported by uniquely effective action methods practiced in jiu jitsu martial arts, which positively influenced prototype testing at live training.
Further prototyping delivered more sophisticated functional developments, integrating the male and female interlocking handles/grips, which allowed the cuffs to be connected together and used as a rigid grip between the handcuffs.
This interlocking system evolved the concept beyond it’s originally intended use, which indicated that it could also feasibly enhance safety and control of prisoners during transportation, with the aid of a docking port; even without the addition of an elbow belt, the rigid male and female handles/grips provide an extremely effective point of contact with instant access to the leverage required to control any unruly subject, seated or standing.
With 26 years experience in security, having encountered countless situations requiring the restraint of violent subjects, Sten’s thinking was how to conceive a compliant tool, that could be utilised to effectively and safely empower enforcers in gaining safe control of non-compliant offenders; effectively reducing the risks of volatile situations manifesting.
As a result of 33 years as a high ranking Jiu Jitsu practitioner, Sten conceived that with effective application and training, a compliant device could be designed to address the problem and ultimately provide a feasible working solution.
During 2004, while working within the Security and Traffic Department at Massey University in New Zealand; taking inspiration from active duty experience apprehending offenders, armed only with a basic tool such as a torch; the idea to fill the force continuum gap, between response action and a compliant tool became apparent. Amalgamating a grappling aid such as that of the shaft of a torch and standard issue handcuffs would increase leverage when “bottle-capping” with a cuff during the restraint procedure, to which the idea evolved.
The concept was pitched to Dr. Gavin Clark, the Director of Research Commercialisation at Massey University, who embraced backing the idea; who responded by submitting a patent application on behalf of the university, enabling S-TEN to begin to work on initial prototyping. In time, the university subsequently signed the patent over to S-TEN, concluding their involvement with the project, where over the next few years Sten planned the next phases of research and development.
Today the S-TEN cuff solution is well on pace to achieving exceptional innovation in an otherwise static product category, where theory and application have been united to solve an inevitable problem for enforcement; as it approaches the final phases in its initial prototype developments towards market entry; S-TEN have engaged in some ground breaking engineering, design and manufacturing, encompassed by practical application and simple usability, which is set to limelight situation response and safety for enforcement, military and security officers as well as safety for offenders.
Current feedback from prospective users including New Zealand Police has been overwhelmingly positive; this positive response is set to launch S-TEN CUFF™ into a new era of innovation in restraints, meeting the need for compliant enforcement tools in an increasingly demanding and aware industry both in New Zealand and globally.
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