The first item is “VIPERS” – VIolent Person Emergency Restraint System, invented by Don Davies (Freeway Training) in Britain. This consists of two sets of straps, the black one goes round the elbows and the red one is for the ankles. The elbow straps can be adjusted for distance between the elbows as well as around them. When fastened, it is recommended that the surplus strap be wound around the quick release buckles to prevent the subject from getting at them easily. I have shown the leg straps with the surplus lying free to show the length. The vertical strap can be adjusted for length, so that the subject can stand and walk, or be shortened to sit. For extra security the prisoner can be handcuffed, otherwise the restraint is rather like a grip, in that an unwatched subject can fairly easily escape. Primarily designed for use on aircraft with unruly or violent passengers.

The next restraints are examples of fabric and webbing materials. The firm RIPP of the U.S.A. produces a range of such restraints.  The Quick-Cuffs are a webbing strap closed with Velcro hook and loop fastening. Really only effective if the hands are behind the back, as the strap can easily be undone with the teeth if put on in front. The Hand-Bag is designed to go over any type of handcuff and prevents the prisoner from using the hands to manipulate any restraints or hide any contraband substances. The hobble is a strap, closed with a crocodile clip, which can be used, as here, to secure the elbows, or the ankles or knees.


The YUIL company of Korea produces this variant of the Quik-Kuf or Speedcuff. It is somewhat longer than either of those and has a retractable ring incorporated which can be used to attach a leading chain, a gang chain, or a connector chain to leg-irons.

YUIL Handcuff, Ring closed  YUIL Handcuff, Ring open

This picture shows James in a set of restraints produced by the Spanish firm Larrañaga y Elorra, which, in Europe, trades as Alcyon. The belly chain has handcuffs attached without the short length of chain that is usual with similar restraints produced in the U.S.A.

The German Firm Clemen & Jung have been producing restraints under the brand name Clejuso since the late 1800s. This is their “Kombi” set, which was produced over a long period, certainly most of the first half of the 20th cent. There is a version without the chain linking the leg-irons, said to be designed for wearing inside the trouser legs so that a prisoner can be transported in public without being too conspicuous! This set belongs to the Chris Gower Collection, which is the largest in Britain and is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records.

The next restraint James is wearing is Clejuso’s modern replacement of the “Kombi”, which has a single connector chain. Clejuso call this the “Hamburger” combination (Hamburger means from or relating to the city of Hamburg in Germany).


James is shown “hog-tied” in the next picture, using a simple hobble (marketed by the firm Gall’s in the U.S.A.) which consists of a woven black nylon cord with snap fasteners at each end.  The second “hog-tie” picture shows the same hobble used with a pair of replica Hillyard handcuffs, a rather more severe restraint! The handcuffs were made by Chris Gower of Dorset, from a pair of Sirchie Laboratory’s ordinary chain link shackles.


That leads on to some illustrations of other replica restraints, first a pair of Palmer handcuffs, medium size, made by Ian McColl, Stockade Locksmiths of Australia. He makes a range of very good replicas and has made several individual ones for me, including the Swiss one shown earlier.

Then comes a set of Horst Stein “Moabit” handcuffs and leg-irons, also by Ian McColl. When supplied by Ian, they had thick rubber coverings, rather too thick to be authentic. The correct size black rubber tubing seems to be unobtainable, so I replaced it with clear tubing of the right size. This looks very good and makes it obvious that these are replicas.

The “Clog” shackle is described in the Stanley Smythe catalogue which formed the basis of Don Stewart’s book on restraints. This replica was made by Chris Gower.

Lastly, a gadget of my own design, made by Ian McColl. This is an adaptation of George S Hickox’s patent # 204669 of 1878. The elbows are clamped and the padlocks which secure the chain also lock the cross bars over the steel ovals.