Should water cannon be bought and used by the Met?

  TopCat® 13:29 18 Feb 2014

This possibility is causing great concern to many as the pros and cons of it use are debated in the London area. Already used by the police in Northern Ireland, and some other countries beyond our borders, it is currently difficult to determine just what the British general public's opinion is. click here

With several reservations, such as using water cannon(s) as a last resort and which must have built in adjustable water pressure settings, I reluctantly think the time has come for them to appear when serious crowd trouble gets out of hand. What do you think on this? TC.

  Flak999 13:56 18 Feb 2014

You will not be surprised to hear that I fully endorse the use of any and every measure the police and security forces deem necessary, to control violent disorder on our streets. Indeed I would have been fully supportive of the authorities if they had taken the drastic step of using live ammunition against rioters in 2011.

With regard to water cannon, they have been used successfully in Northern Ireland for many years in urban locations, and if the met commissioner feels they would be useful here on the mainland then I would trust his professional judgement and allow their use.

  Al94 14:55 18 Feb 2014

If they have been deemed suitable for use in any part of the UK then there should be no debate about suitability on "the mainland"

  fourm member 16:08 18 Feb 2014

It will be no surprise to learn that if Flak999 thinks its a good idea that's almost enough on its own for me to know it is a very bad idea.

But, over and above that, I do think it is a very bad idea.

It is another move towards militarising the police and meaning that individual freedom cannot be assumed.

  john bunyan 16:19 18 Feb 2014

fourm member

I agree partially with your views, but if you re- look at videos of the last riots, where the police were overwhelmed, arson and looting was rampant, I think a case can be made for the sparing use of water cannon. If you disagree, what measures do you suggest in the event of such extreme violent situations where the police are heavily outnumbered and the risk to innocent lives is great (arsonists etc) ? There are, in my view , a few cases where individual freedom has to be curtailed if it's use seriously threatens society. Do suggest alternatives in such situations.

  sunnystaines 16:33 18 Feb 2014

Yes they should add a purple dye thats difficult to remove and perhaps some capsicum concentrate to help deter the the bad guys.

  fourm member 19:23 18 Feb 2014

john bunyan

The answer to what happened in 2011 is not to let it happen. By that I mean the police need to be engaged with the local community so that people don't feel left out of society and the police can see trouble coming and keep it small.

I'd love to see a survey showing how many of those calling for water cannon to be available also think the loss of the bobby on the beat has led to many of our problems with bad/illegal behaviour.

  john bunyan 19:36 18 Feb 2014

fourm member

"The answer to what happened in 2011 is not to let it happen"

All very well, but it did happen, and has happened before See:

Broadwater Farm

Regrettably it will probably happen again and your ideal solution will sometimes not be around. I think you have sidestepped the question I posed - ie in the situation of a riot of the type we have seen - what is reasonable force? I think a water cannon is better than the USA use of firearms. I fully agree with you in regretting the demise of the "bobby on the beat"

  sunnystaines 20:01 18 Feb 2014


the german must have been a bad guy any decent demonstrators would have left when it got ugly and certainly not hang around when water cannons came out.

  carver 09:39 19 Feb 2014

Well if any one can joke about that incident then they or their children should be allowed to stand in front of one of those things then we could all have a laugh about it photo if you don't like graphic scenes then don't click on link.

That demonstration was not violent but then Germany was never one to let little things like human rights get in the way of law and order.

Forum member is right, the police should be stopping it before it starts but because of cuts they do not have the manpower to do so.

Water cannon, the thing to use when you can't get it right in the first place.

  spuds 18:11 19 Feb 2014

Perhaps before being accused of being silly, I can cheerfully predict that the public will have very little say on this issue. But the government and ACPO might, if they haven't already?.

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