There is no doubt that safety equipment can both save lives or injury, but what is the right equipment to buy? The CIoJ has conducted some fairly extensive research into what is available in the way of protective equipment at this time.
Firstly, helmets. Currently, other than military or riot type helmets, or something like a motorcycle crash hat, there is nothing better than the baseball type cap protector from First Base. This and some “woolly hats” with the same liner are more or less the only covert head protection that is available. While less than perfect, they will protect you from some forms of injury and at around £10 to £15, if you are covering civil disorder, you would be a fool not to wear one.
On the stab/bullet proof vest front, things are a lot better with many good quality products being available from companies such as TBA, Bradley and Praetorian. You can get a covert vest on E-Bay for as little as £80, but don’t! There are many things one needs to find out about Kevlar equipment, much of which may not be available unless it comes from a reputable supplier. You need to know not only its resistance to bullets and stab wounds but also how good it is to resist blunt force. One thing worth remembering is that it doesn’t pay to look too much like the police in incidents of civil disorder, so one should always try and get a good covert vest.