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CS (named after the initials of the inventors Corson and Staughton) combines the compound (o-chlorobenzylidine malononitrile) a white crystalline substance which is dissolved in the inert solvent MiBK (methyl iso-butyl ketone) and held by this substance in suspension. When it is expelled from the canister as a liquid jet, the CS compound which is suspended in the liquid compound (MiBK) separates from the matrix liquid on contact with the air.

Any cannister of whatever description, designed or adapted for discharge of CS spray is a prohibited weapon.

Police officers are properly and regularly trained in the use of CS spray and it is used when appropriate by officers when they feel that the offender poses a risk to themselves and/or the police officers and others in the vicinity.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.