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London push for water cannons because ‘austerity measures will lead to protest’

21st Century Wire says…

While UK Gov’t and City of London criminals are busy tightening the screws on the country’s most vulnerable sectors of society, preparations are being made for the inevitable public backlash.

Welcome to ‘Belfast-on-Thames’…

Police to ask home secretary to approve use of water cannon across country

Alan Travis


Police chiefs say water cannon are needed because ‘austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest’.

Chief constables are to press the home secretary, Theresa May, to authorise the use of water cannon by any police force across England and Wales to deal with anticipated street protests.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says that the need to control continued protests “from ongoing and potential future austerity measures” justifies the introduction of water cannon in Britain for the first time.

The London mayor, Boris Johnson, has already announced a consultation on the introduction of water cannon on to the streets of London ready for use by this summer.

A new Acpo/College of Policing briefing paper makes clear that chief constables across England and Wales have also been asked to discuss water cannon with their police and crime commissioners and “it is anticipated that the home secretary will be approached in early 2014 in respect of water cannon authorisation”.

It is understood that a successful request by the Metropolitan police to use water cannon in London would result in an authorisation that applied to the whole of England and Wales.

Police commissioners and chief constables outside London will need to agree how the water cannon would be used. It has also been made clear that they would have to be funded out of their existing squeezed budgets.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are keen to ensure forces have the tools and powers they need to maintain order on our streets. We are currently providing advice to the police on the authorisation process as they build the case for the use of water cannon.”

The Acpo briefing paper is written by David Shaw, the West Mercia chief constable, who has been leading a national Acpo/Home Office project that was set up after the 2011 riots and has been re-examining whether to introduce water cannon for the first time in England, Wales and Scotland.

He cites three occasions in the past 10 years when police commanders would have considered using water cannon in London had they been available.

He names them as the Countryside Alliance demonstration in Parliament Square in 2004, the Gaza demonstrations against the Israeli embassy in 2008-09 and “potentially” the student protests of 2010, when specific locations were targeted.

They would also have been considered during the August riots of 2011 but he concedes they would have had only limited impact on the “fast, agile disorder” seen then.

The report says there is no intelligence to suggest there is an increased likelihood of serious riots within England and Wales, but states “it would be fair to assume that the ongoing and potential future austerity measures are likely to lead to continued protest”.

Continue this story at the Guardian

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  • claudine long

    so Boris thinks the protests are on hold until the summer? why so? does he think it will add an element of fun and so distract the riled millions from getting their point across? I doubt there will be much of a protest tbh, most Brits are too reserved and conditioned to accept it

    • Stepford 88

      There has been so much incremental conditioning in the UK that it is almost unimaginable to know what would bolster the people to unite against increasing governmental tyranny.
      It doesn’t surprise me that the mayor is ordering water cannons and anticipating riots here as they we are happening elsewhere. But I noticed that since 27th September 2013 20 metres of 18ft iron railings were added to the Houses of Parliament surrounding wall. Only those who pass by the building on a daily basis would be aware of this development. From what I have garnered from history every event is orchestrated by design ie Governmental agencies stir up a situation/public/false flags to bring about change through chaos.

  • Charlie Primero

    These water cannon trucks only carry 2,000 gallons. That’s less than two minutes at typical flow rates.

    An enterprising young rioter would open all the fire hydrants in a two-block area to prevent the trucks from refilling.


  • marinette

    Very chilling article – part of me is trying to step back and view it as media sensationalism. I mean, surely there are contingency plans in place already and this is just another method of crowd control? (Water cannon or taser? Erm, water cannon please). If it’s designed to be provocative then it’s worked on me. I can’t help thinking: ‘OK – time to stand up and be counted – bring it on.’

    Clearly the general election isn’t going to change a thing and austerity will continue no matter what. Marvellous! (So much for democracy).

    Oh and it reminds me of something I read a while ago on the BBC. Gordon Brown discussed the option of putting troops on the streets to prevent looting and disorder if the financial crisis led to severe food shortages. Yeah, get your priorities right Gordon – people and their families can starve, as long as we make sure private property is protected. Git.

    My dream scenario would be for the police to go on strike, just as they did in Liverpool in 1919. If the army followed suit, then we’d be getting somewhere. One can dream.

  • Azra

    This article from The Telegraph dated December 13, 2010 it states, “A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said that all forces in England and
    Wales had been cleared by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the
    Home Office to use water cannon. No force had opted to deploy them so far,
    he added.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8198035/Police-cleared-to-use-water-cannon-on-rioters.html So is this already a done deal or was that mis/dis-reporting by The Telegraph. What is the truth? Will we ever know the truth about anything?