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How to Use a Police Belly Chain

Police officers use belly chains with handcuffs to restrain prisoners.
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A police belly or waist chain is used together with handcuffs at the front of the body to restrain a prisoner. According to the Nevada Department of Corrections, the belly or waist chain is one of the authorized restraints used on prisoners during transportation. Typically, the restraints are used when prisoners have a court hearing or are being detained for a long stretch of time. The belly chain is more comfortable than being handcuffed behind the back, yet it is still strong enough to secure the prisoner.

Wrap the belly chain around the prisoner's waist. The belly chain should be secured at the waist so the handcuffs are positioned at the navel. The length of the waist chain can be modified to fit the prisoner, and an additional lock can be added at the waist. The prisoner should be already wearing the clothing he will be transported in.

Determine with the chain the best length to lock the belly chain portion of the restraint. The handcuffs should sit at the navel area; the belly chain comes with rings at different lengths so it can fit most waist sizes.

Lock the belly chain with a padlock using the rings on the belly chain. The padlock should be at the back of the prisoner. Test the lock to be sure it is secured.

Lock the handcuffs around the prisoner's wrists at the front of the body near the navel. Test the handcuffs to be sure they are secure but not too tight.

Pull on the belly chain to be sure it is locked properly. Allow the prisoner to walk with the restraint. Remove the restraint after it is no longer needed.

Things You'll Need:

  • Belly chain with attached handcuffs
  • Padlock


An extra guard or officer may be needed to supervise the prisoner while locking the restraint into place.

The belly chain and handcuffs can be used with leg restraints at the ankles and a control chain, which links the belly chain to the leg restraints.


  • Have all the keys to the locks and handcuffs.
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