Anti-per­vert flame-throw­ers for safety

CityPress - - News -

Se­cu­rity for women is not only a prob­lem in South Africa, but the world over, and ex­perts are search­ing for dis­creet self-de­fence weapons for women.

Now, pocket-sized flame-throw­ers are be­ing mar­keted to women in China as an “anti-per­vert weapon” on­line.

Soon they’ll land on our shores.

The flame-throw­ers can hurl a stream of fires, some half a me­tre long, to help women fend off un­wanted ad­vances, par­tic­u­larly from per­verts who come on force­fully and ig­nore gen­tle re­quests to walk on by.

The de­vice is be­ing billed on shop­ping web­sites as a “must have” anti-per­vert weapon that can be dis­creetly car­ried in a lady’s hand­bag.

Some are shaped like a cig­a­rette lighter and emit small flames, while oth­ers hurl fire for up to 50cm with tem­per­a­tures of up to 1 800°C.

The flame-throw­ers sell from about R170 to over R500 on e-com­merce sites.

One ven­dor boasted to lo­cal me­dia how the de­vice can “scald or even dis­fig­ure an at­tacker”.

An­other ven­dor told the Bei­jing Youth Daily they “can leave a per­ma­nent scar, but are a le­gal, non-lethal tool. Not a weapon.”

Chi­nese po­lice have warned that the de­vices are against the law, but they were still be­ing sold on the in­ter­net in China on Tues­day.

“Flames and the su­per­high tem­per­a­tures are enough to scare the bad guys away,” said one web­site, which added that the flames can last for 30 min­utes.

“At that cru­cial mo­ment, you could also be­come an anti-ter­ror Swat,” said an­other.

It is un­clear when the de­vices were first be­ing sold in China, although Bei­jing Youth Daily said they had be­come “very pop­u­lar” when con­cern over sex­ual ha­rass­ment peaked at the start of sum­mer, with some stores sell­ing up to 300 units per month.

Po­lice told Chi­nese me­dia that it is “tech­ni­cally il­le­gal” to send the de­vices to cus­tomers through the postal ser­vice.

There is con­cern that the flame-throw­ers could be­come the lat­est dan­ger­ous gad­get to be­come pop­u­lar in China, fol­low­ing a fad among some chil­dren for tiny cross­bows which can shoot tooth­picks or nee­dles.

Con­cerns have also been raised that the de­vice can cause in­jury to the per­son car­ry­ing it, as the switch can be ac­ci­den­tally turned on while it is in a hand­bag.

LET IT BURN Self-de­fense flame-throw­ers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.