British Police train with water cannon

Hundreds of police officers are secretly undergoing training to use water cannon ahead of potential protests this summer, it was claimed today.

There are currently six water cannons in the UK but all belong to the Police Service of Northern Ireland and none are held on the British mainland Photo: Getty Images

6:48AM BST 15 May 2013

The £1.3 million cannon was brought from Northern Ireland to a Hampshire air base where officers are being trained in its use, according to the Daily Mail.

The public order weapon is expected to be on standby during G8 talks at the Lough Erne resort in Enniskillen next month but its use is expected to fuel speculation that they could be introduced on the mainland.

Up to 4,000 Metropolitan Police officers are being trained how to use the cannon, shuttling up to the Longmoor base, near Petersfield, in groups.
They are undergoing drills in which some play a mob of rioters who get drenched with water fired in short bursts.

In the wake of the 2011 summer riots, a comprehensive police review concluded that water cannon would prove a “valuable” asset during policing.
Scotland Yard officers said the crowd dispersal weapon “would have been considered as a tactical option” had it been more readily available as violence erupted in towns and cities across the UK.

There are currently six water cannons in the UK but all belong to the Police Service of Northern Ireland and none are held on the British mainland.
Under current arrangements, police forces across England and Wales must provide 24 hours’ notice to access the weapons.

Senior officers have called for additional units to be purchased and then housed on the UK mainland, making them more readily accessible in future disturbances.
Each water cannon costs around £1.3 million and experts believe three vehicles would be needed to ensure operational capability across the UK.

Critics believe the machines are unsuitable and represent a move towards more militant policing.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, reacted cautiously to the prospect of acquiring water cannon to deal with future disturbances, stating that they had their “limitations” and were not necessarily the answer.

There have been reports of them causing serious injuries, including broken bones and a ruptured spleen.

Enter the water cannon: Two years on from the riots that scarred Britain, hundreds of police are training at a secret base with a fearsome new deterrent

  • London Met police are being trained to use brand new water cannon
  • Weapon brought in for officers to prepare for G8 meeting this summer
  • Up to 4,000 officers are being trained ahead of Northern Ireland gathering
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3 Responses to “British Police train with water cannon”

  1. tony roma says:

    what is the beef.
    it is hot
    let the great unwashed have a power shower.
    what what.

    iron man erdogan is showing the way to freedoms
    true chatham house democracy.

    the hot summer of love is a coming with a cool cs gas outcome.

  2. Caratacus says:

    Given the quality of the stuff that comes out of our taps these days a case could be made against the police for the illegal use of chemical weapons …

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s every year now that the Police say there will be a ”summer of riots”, advertising this provocation through the mainstream media.

    They really do want people to take the bait and let the Police/government have their Police-state don’t they?

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