Civil Defence Supply

Research, development, testing, manufacture, supply and training of specialised Defence and Law Enforcement products

History 6



United Kingdom Police adopt Armadillo Shield & Tactics

Lesson learnt from the Miner’s Strike encouraged the Metropolitan Police and Home Office scientists to properly review officer protection. The first riot overalls in wool Barrathea coated with Nuvo-F, Proban and other chemicals to give petrol repellency became national issue.  The first Shin & Knee protectors were issued. Army style high-leg riot boots with steel toe-caps were purchased as well as ‘Northern Ireland’ pattern riot gloves.

Since the 1985 riots, the adoption of Control and Restraint (C&R) by HM Prisons and a series of prison riots where police were called in as mutual aid, police riot officers and their commanders saw Civil Defence Supply ARMADILLO Riot Shields in front-line use in formations that offered improved overhead protection and gave more tactical options.


KENT CONSTABULARY were the first UK police force to approach Civil Defence Supply and begin work to amalgamate lessons learnt from the 1985 riots with analytical reporting and proven methods from the C&R programme to arrive at a completely new method of riot control which was initially called EARLY RESOLUTION or The Free Running Line.


A new shorter lightweight 1200mm (4ft) ARMADILLO shield was created in 3mm polycarbonate with identical handles to the National Shield allowing rapid deployment and fluid tactics yet could stop, regroup and achieve overhead protection within seconds.  Officers were trained in far more tactical options and it was soon found that situations could be broken up quickly before they escalated to a full riot. Those same methods became standard in virtually any confrontation from domestic incidents to cell extractions, public protest and ultimately a riot.  The Patented Interlinking properties of the Armadillo shield were essential in achieving adequate top and side cover.

The KENT Armadillo

This single design was so effective that it became to be known as The Intermediate Shield and was swiftly adopted by nearly every United Kingdom police force except the Metropolitan Police who stuck with their National Shields.


The new tactics were refined and developed not only here in the United Kingdom but by the many overseas agencies who purchased ARMADILLO.  


Internationally, the standard American curved-blade shield was ‘standard’ with ARMADILLO soon finding its way over to Canada and the United States offering better protection and better tactics, the first major US contract to re-equip the US Military Police with over 1700 shields.

Next Intermediate Shields