Object Title

Truncheon and combined dye discharger - The Criminal Detector

Truncheon and combined dye discharger - The Criminal Detector



Object Number



Presented to the Royal Armouries by Oil Gear Towler Ltd., Rodley, Leeds, having been passed by them to West Yorkshire Police for this purpose, 22nd June, 1993

Physical Description

Wood outer case shaped like a truncheon, handle grip is turned, with five grooves. The top groove has a leather wrist strap around it, stitched in place, a split pin( the safety pin) is connected by a chain to the leather strap. The lower groove has two brass semi-domed nuts screwed in each side. The main body is bored through from top to bottom, inserted in this hole is a metal tube, fixed transversley by a steel pin, which is secured by the two previously mentioned brass nuts. Within this tube, from top to bottom, is the striker, which is cylindrical, a hole through the top part(accommodates the safety pin) two grooves, a washer, and the striker head,a coil spring,a retaining washer, next comes the compressed air cylinder(co2), followed by a plunger, the liquid dye tube, and the end cap and nozzle. To operate the device the safety pin is removed and the striker is struck smartly with the hand or against a hard surface. By this action the spring is compressed and the striker pin pierces the nipple of the gas cartridge, gas pressure then escapes through holes in the shoulder into the liquid compartment. The plunger is driven towards the nozzle by this pressure, forcing the liquid through the nozzle, in the process forcing off the rubber cap


OverallLength16.75 inhes
OverallLength425 mm


Serial Number A494

Inscriptions and Marks

A494 stamped on the end of the striker, a yellow label, printed with a warning, and the name THE CRIMINAL DETECTOR, and instructions on who to return to for reloading


Places Britain


This dye discharger was kept for use by the cashier employed by Oil Gear Towler Ltd., Leeds, in the 1950s and 60s, and later surrendered by the company to West Yorkshire Police when advised that it constituted an illegal weapon.
The dye capsule, gas cylinder, and plunger are removed, and are associated with with the main unit