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Creative Cuffing for Small-Wristed Subjects

Dr. Richard Weinblatt

In defensive tactics for policing, we’re always looking for ways to control (that operative word is bolded on purpose) the behaviorally challenged individual. Unfortunately, not all wrists come in a convenient size to fit our handcuffs. Many people with slender wrists, particularly juveniles, are able to slip out of the cuffs despite our best efforts to do the right things. This Weinblatt’s Tips column covers what you can do with creative cuffing to control escape-prone wrists.

By way of reminder, those “correct things” include handcuffing behind in almost all cases (except some situations such as limb disabilities, etc. which should be spelled out in your agency’s procedures), turning the keyholes in the same direction, “finger” testing for fit, and double-locking for officer safety. Hopefully, you also indicated that you double-locked the handcuffs in your report’s narrative. That documentation cuts down on those nasty complaints and tort claims.

But what if you tighten that single strand (or single yoke, as some refer to it) all the way down and there’s still plenty of room for the perpetrator to pull out? There’s not much control if the person can pull their hand out of the handcuff.

One solution is the use of flex cuffs. A couple of downsides are the danger of tightening them too much and not having the ability to loosen them and the need for a cutting instrument to slice them off. You also need to have those flexible restraints on you, not buried in the trunk of the patrol car.

Reusable flex cuffs are out there, however they are harder to find and tend to be used in training environments. Also, their locking and unlocking mechanisms take a little getting used to.

But wait, there is an even more convenient method that you can use to handcuff people who have slim wrists and it’s right on your duty belt. They are called (drum roll please)….handcuffs.

The trusty old handcuffs are the same. Your aim of controlling the subject is also the same. So what’s changed to make them work? It’s your creative cuffing application of the metal bracelets that is modified.

What I used to do with thin-wristed folks is have them (sometimes with some assistance- their tax dollars at work) place their wrists together behind their backs horizontally. I would then take one handcuff and place it around both wrists. Of course, I would finger test for fit and double-lock them. The other cuff could then be handcuffed to a belt loop on the back of their pants.


+57
  • Owl_max50

    Kirkster

    over 4 years ago

    148 Comments

    Going to have to try this technique out.

  • Picture_064_max50

    americas1776

    almost 5 years ago

    42 Comments

    lol duck tape always gets the job done. but its good to know these tips so I can be ready for training thanks.

  • The_wall_max50

    brooklynsergeant

    almost 5 years ago

    4392 Comments

    I used it many times, works well. In a pinch Duct Tape works well also.

  • Pisilhouette_max50

    nightwatch

    almost 5 years ago

    356 Comments

    wow that's an interesting way to cuff

  • 4006742807_max600_max600_max50

    Elektra

    almost 5 years ago

    214 Comments

    I always wondered about that! I have thin wrists and double jointed thumbs and can get out of handcuffs, so I'm very glad to know there is an effective way to do it!

  • Arizona_max600_max50

    deputydawg127

    almost 5 years ago

    212 Comments

    Never tried this, but I have hooked the cuffs so the inside curves touch. This also works.

  • Howarduniversityprlogo_max50

    BSB25YVETl

    about 5 years ago

    28 Comments

    Thanks for the insight....

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 5 years ago

    It works and is a great way to restrain a suspect!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BigMac624

    about 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    Thanks for the info. Never tried it but will next time!

  • 165022_483433124340_700324340_5579498_4099343_n_max50

    lorene1701

    over 5 years ago

    156 Comments

    Been doing the cuffing of two wrists together for years. It works like a charm.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    toddmaster

    over 5 years ago

    2 Comments

    nice!

  • Aug8gal18-thanks-for-the-ride_max50

    charmedpeponita3

    over 5 years ago

    32 Comments

    Haha, they did this to me in acadamy. I am a very petite person with tiny wrists and they decided to demonstrate how it works. Very effective!!

  • Dirty_harry_max50

    HPBushrod

    over 5 years ago

    236 Comments

    This info was very informative. Stay safe out there everyone.

  • Shane_max50

    trooper_hughes

    over 5 years ago

    30 Comments

    It is about time that this was put out there. I learned this at the Academy but haven't told as many people as I should have

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ramrod6

    over 5 years ago

    6 Comments

    this works very well with juv's. had a young man even threaten he could easily escape cuffs and had in the past, but tried unsuccessfully with this method applied.

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