Object: PR 24 baton
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|Title||PR 24 baton|
Monadnock (manufacturer(s)), 1981, United States
|Medium summary||Moulded resin, metal|
x 170mm (Width)
x 35mm (Depth)
The Monadnock PR 24 baton was introduced by the New Zealand Police in the early 1980s for riot control. It replaced the previous shorter baton.
The code-name for the police action during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour was ‘Operation Rugby’. This baton was used by two special police squads formed as security escorts for the South African team (the Springboks) as it travelled around the country. Called the Red and Blue Escort Groups, they were more commonly known as the Red Squad and Blue Squad.
Confrontations between rugby supporters and anti-tour protesters grew increasingly violent as the tour progressed. To manage the conflict, police were equipped with helmets, riot shields, and the long PR 24 baton.
The PR 24 baton became a much feared object during the tour. Police used it to force protesters back, and it could be a dangerous weapon if applied forcefully. Because of its size, it had to be carried openly, which made its users appear more threatening. For the anti-tour movement, it became a powerful symbol of state control and power.
The batons gained the nickname ‘Minto Bars’ after John Minto, a leader of Halt All Racist Tours (HART).
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.