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Non-lethal force is the use of force which is not inherently likely to kill or cause great bodily injury. Note that "non-lethal force" generally has a significant risk of causing death: in this context "non-lethal" only means "not intended to kill". For this reason, two new terms, "less than lethal" and particularly "less-lethal", were coined and are now being used in place of "non-lethal" by many manufacturers and law enforcement agencies (and even those who oppose their common use in riot control).


To do: distinguish less lethal force, introduce continuum of force.

See also: police, deadly force, weapon, riot control agent