Trials of a controversial side-handled baton to protect police against violence on the streets were announced in Hampshire by home secretary Michael Howard.
But the design, to be subjected to scientific tests – and, if suitable, tried out on the streets – was not the type used by American police.
It would be a new design of expandable side-handled baton, Mr Howard told delighted senior officers.
He said if the expandable side-handled baton proved to protect police officers from attack forces would get them.
He also announced trials of three new straight batons.
His move was welcomed by Hampshire Police Federation whose members had been campaigning for a more aggressive weapon to use on the streets.