Police set to ask for water cannon

South Wales Argus: Police set to ask for water cannon Police set to ask for water cannon

Water cannon is likely to be needed by police due to protests triggered by ongoing austerity measures, a briefing paper has warned.

Chief constables are later this year set to request authorisation to deploy water cannon in mainland Britain for the first time, the paper prepared for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and College of Policing says.

The 2011 riots sparked by the shooting of Mark Duggan, the 2004 Countryside Alliance protest in central London, 2010 student protests and demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy in 2008 are all cited as scenarios during which water cannon would be considered for use.

Earlier this month, London Mayor Boris Johnson wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May to say he will ask members of the public and key figures about their views on use of the machines ''in the most extreme circumstances''.

While the Acpo/College of Policing paper, written by West Mercia chief David Shaw, says it is designed "not to justify why the Police Service believes that water cannon should be available", it does go on to explain when Theresa May is likely to be approached for permission.

The paper says: "It is anticipated that the Home Secretary will be approached in early 2014 in respect of water cannon authorisation."

Water cannon have been used by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for some time, but never by forces on the UK mainland.

The Acpo/College of Policing paper says the Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000 is likely to be the model of choice, which can get through 9,000 litres in just five minutes if it is running at full pressure. It then takes 10 to 20 minutes to refill from a hydrant depending on the pressure of the hydrant.

A new water cannon costs between £600,000 and £1 million depending on its specification and lasts for 25 to 30 years.

Critics warn the machines can cause serious injuries, such as those reportedly experienced by a German protester who was blinded in 2010.

While deployment of water cannon would be an operational decision for chief officers, Home Secretary authorisation is required before water cannon can be used in England and Wales.

If PCCs and chief constables agree that forces in England and Wales need water cannon, they will need to agree how it should be funded from within their existing budgets.

A Home Office spokesman 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."

Comments (15)

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11:15pm Wed 22 Jan 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain.

Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.
These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain. Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we. GardenVarietyMushroom

12:14am Thu 23 Jan 14

welshinventor says...

another waste of tax payers money,
it will end up in a shed somewhere rotting like the snow ploughs.
another waste of tax payers money, it will end up in a shed somewhere rotting like the snow ploughs. welshinventor

7:35am Thu 23 Jan 14

Practicalmickey says...

End up in a shed!
Just think of the riots, if a canon had been deployed how much quicker and safer could those outbursts of violence have been resolved. Peoples livelihoods were affected when their businesses were burnt to the ground by those involved.
End up in a shed! Just think of the riots, if a canon had been deployed how much quicker and safer could those outbursts of violence have been resolved. Peoples livelihoods were affected when their businesses were burnt to the ground by those involved. Practicalmickey

7:38am Thu 23 Jan 14

Practicalmickey says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain.

Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.
Did you even read the article, it's got nothing to do with jobs at the top.

It is clearly the attitude of people like you that are dragging this city down.

Scumbag!
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain. Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.[/p][/quote]Did you even read the article, it's got nothing to do with jobs at the top. It is clearly the attitude of people like you that are dragging this city down. Scumbag! Practicalmickey

7:55am Thu 23 Jan 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

So our leaders have decided they need water cannon because of discontent over austerity measures? Personally, I feel that if they wish to quell such evidently anticipated discontent they might like to employ a more old-fashioned tactic called *fair play* first. This is what the vast majority of us are really angry about.
So our leaders have decided they need water cannon because of discontent over austerity measures? Personally, I feel that if they wish to quell such evidently anticipated discontent they might like to employ a more old-fashioned tactic called *fair play* first. This is what the vast majority of us are really angry about. Katie Re-Registered

7:58am Thu 23 Jan 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Practicalmickey wrote:
GardenVarietyMushroo

m
wrote:
These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain.

Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.
Did you even read the article, it's got nothing to do with jobs at the top.

It is clearly the attitude of people like you that are dragging this city down.

Scumbag!
What on earth are you talking about?
[quote][p][bold]Practicalmickey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain. Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.[/p][/quote]Did you even read the article, it's got nothing to do with jobs at the top. It is clearly the attitude of people like you that are dragging this city down. Scumbag![/p][/quote]What on earth are you talking about? GardenVarietyMushroom

8:02am Thu 23 Jan 14

gathin says...

Funny that the police think they're in the "in" club.
They aren't, I'm not and neither are any of you.
It's us vs them and as long as the police and other agencies work against us we're buggered.
Funny that the police think they're in the "in" club. They aren't, I'm not and neither are any of you. It's us vs them and as long as the police and other agencies work against us we're buggered. gathin

10:51am Thu 23 Jan 14

Daz Mondeo says...

I'm not going to get into a debate about the reasons behind deploying water cannon. But what I do find completely mind boggling is that the Police want to spend £600k minimum per unit to combat protests against austerity. Hmm, let's say that again in condensed form to show the very preposterousness of it

"Needlessly spend £600k per unit / combat potential unrest against austerity"

For a start, I'm pretty sure that should the need ever arise to use such a device, then an old fire engine could be used at a fraction of the cost.

I'm just wondering which of the chief constables has recently bought shares in the company that manufactures the Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000.... Well come on, would the very suggestion of such corruption amongst the ruling class surprise anyone.... I thought not!
I'm not going to get into a debate about the reasons behind deploying water cannon. But what I do find completely mind boggling is that the Police want to spend £600k minimum per unit to combat protests against austerity. Hmm, let's say that again in condensed form to show the very preposterousness of it "Needlessly spend £600k per unit / combat potential unrest against austerity" For a start, I'm pretty sure that should the need ever arise to use such a device, then an old fire engine could be used at a fraction of the cost. I'm just wondering which of the chief constables has recently bought shares in the company that manufactures the Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000.... Well come on, would the very suggestion of such corruption amongst the ruling class surprise anyone.... I thought not! Daz Mondeo

11:33am Thu 23 Jan 14

ex-St. Julians boy says...

The police have only themselves to blame for those riots. Admittedly, the arson and the looting was a result of people jumping onto the bandwagon but the initial spark that started it all off was police action in shooting and killing a man in cold blood. It was demonstrated in court that he was unarmed at the time so posed no direct and immediate threat ... they just shot him. It is highly improbable that the riots would have even started but for that incident.

And I don't care how many 'thumbs down' I get for this ... it's the uneasy truth.
The police have only themselves to blame for those riots. Admittedly, the arson and the looting was a result of people jumping onto the bandwagon but the initial spark that started it all off was police action in shooting and killing a man in cold blood. It was demonstrated in court that he was unarmed at the time so posed no direct and immediate threat ... they just shot him. It is highly improbable that the riots would have even started but for that incident. And I don't care how many 'thumbs down' I get for this ... it's the uneasy truth. ex-St. Julians boy

12:10pm Thu 23 Jan 14

grumpyandopinionated says...

How exactly did the police bring the roits on themselfs, the london riots was caused because some toe rag got what he deserved and they didn't like it.

I agree that the police and other agencies think that they can do what they want and get away with it. Personally I think that this is changing, I think the pleb gate thing has been a bit of a turning point.

I have had several freinds that have become police men and there is only 1 that has not turned into complete muppets. Police are there to uphold the law not to use and abuse them as they see fit. The whole mentality of the police forces needs to change, who actually sees the police as the freindly coppers that you could have a decent chat with. Like back in the day when most crimes where solved by gossip, but nobody trusts the police any more, I know there are some decent coppers out there but they are overcrowded by the rotten apples.

Thankfully though they are always there when you dial 999 so I think we can all be atleast a bit greatful that when we do need them they are pretty much always there. To be fair too it seems that newport has a good record of solving major crimes though.

Water cannons will only be effective if used properly, what is more effective is brute force. As far as I'm concerned if there is violence towards the police then they should be able to use force back. A few whacks with a batton and they'll soon calm down. I seen the article on the police wearing cameras, I think this is a brilliant idea, but should be mounted on a helmet and they should be recording at all times, this way when ever a riot occurs and force is needed and force is used the evidence will forever be there to see.
How exactly did the police bring the roits on themselfs, the london riots was caused because some toe rag got what he deserved and they didn't like it. I agree that the police and other agencies think that they can do what they want and get away with it. Personally I think that this is changing, I think the pleb gate thing has been a bit of a turning point. I have had several freinds that have become police men and there is only 1 that has not turned into complete muppets. Police are there to uphold the law not to use and abuse them as they see fit. The whole mentality of the police forces needs to change, who actually sees the police as the freindly coppers that you could have a decent chat with. Like back in the day when most crimes where solved by gossip, but nobody trusts the police any more, I know there are some decent coppers out there but they are overcrowded by the rotten apples. Thankfully though they are always there when you dial 999 so I think we can all be atleast a bit greatful that when we do need them they are pretty much always there. To be fair too it seems that newport has a good record of solving major crimes though. Water cannons will only be effective if used properly, what is more effective is brute force. As far as I'm concerned if there is violence towards the police then they should be able to use force back. A few whacks with a batton and they'll soon calm down. I seen the article on the police wearing cameras, I think this is a brilliant idea, but should be mounted on a helmet and they should be recording at all times, this way when ever a riot occurs and force is needed and force is used the evidence will forever be there to see. grumpyandopinionated

12:29pm Thu 23 Jan 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

" As far as I'm concerned if there is violence towards the police then they should be able to use force back. "

Goes both ways as far as I'm concerned. I can assure you however, that in my (not inconsiderable) experience in such things, that it's always the police getting heavy handed in the first instance that causes friction and results in riots.
" As far as I'm concerned if there is violence towards the police then they should be able to use force back. " Goes both ways as far as I'm concerned. I can assure you however, that in my (not inconsiderable) experience in such things, that it's always the police getting heavy handed in the first instance that causes friction and results in riots. GardenVarietyMushroom

12:50pm Thu 23 Jan 14

ex-St. Julians boy says...

The bloke may have been a toerag but the fact remains that he was shot and killed whilst posing no direct or immediate threat to those around him at the time, The rioting began locally as a direct response to what, rightly or wrongly, was perceived locally as a police execution.

As to your point about water cannon being used properly, the continued improper use of taser weapons might suggest that otherwise. I recall that when tasers were being trialled, the public was assured that they would only be deployed in incidents that constituted a serious threat to life and limb. Now we see occasion where tasers are being used against disabled people, people with mental health issues, drunks, and people that simply don't act quickly enough when ordered to by the copper concerned. That can never right. It will be the same if they get issued with water cannon ... you can virtually guarantee that the police will start to use it inappropriately before long.

As to your point on the police using brute force as a retaliatory action, it's a sad fact that in many cases it's the police that start getting rough with people first. You only have to watch a few of those cop reality TV programmes to see that happening.
The bloke may have been a toerag but the fact remains that he was shot and killed whilst posing no direct or immediate threat to those around him at the time, The rioting began locally as a direct response to what, rightly or wrongly, was perceived locally as a police execution. As to your point about water cannon being used properly, the continued improper use of taser weapons might suggest that otherwise. I recall that when tasers were being trialled, the public was assured that they would only be deployed in incidents that constituted a serious threat to life and limb. Now we see occasion where tasers are being used against disabled people, people with mental health issues, drunks, and people that simply don't act quickly enough when ordered to by the copper concerned. That can never right. It will be the same if they get issued with water cannon ... you can virtually guarantee that the police will start to use it inappropriately before long. As to your point on the police using brute force as a retaliatory action, it's a sad fact that in many cases it's the police that start getting rough with people first. You only have to watch a few of those cop reality TV programmes to see that happening. ex-St. Julians boy

6:27pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Llanmartinangel says...

ex-St. Julians boy wrote:
The police have only themselves to blame for those riots. Admittedly, the arson and the looting was a result of people jumping onto the bandwagon but the initial spark that started it all off was police action in shooting and killing a man in cold blood. It was demonstrated in court that he was unarmed at the time so posed no direct and immediate threat ... they just shot him. It is highly improbable that the riots would have even started but for that incident.

And I don't care how many 'thumbs down' I get for this ... it's the uneasy truth.
No it isn't the truth. Far more civilians (criminals) discharge firearms than police. In a perfect world no-one would get shot. Care to recall the name of the PC shot in the face and blinded? He wasn't armed was he?
[quote][p][bold]ex-St. Julians boy[/bold] wrote: The police have only themselves to blame for those riots. Admittedly, the arson and the looting was a result of people jumping onto the bandwagon but the initial spark that started it all off was police action in shooting and killing a man in cold blood. It was demonstrated in court that he was unarmed at the time so posed no direct and immediate threat ... they just shot him. It is highly improbable that the riots would have even started but for that incident. And I don't care how many 'thumbs down' I get for this ... it's the uneasy truth.[/p][/quote]No it isn't the truth. Far more civilians (criminals) discharge firearms than police. In a perfect world no-one would get shot. Care to recall the name of the PC shot in the face and blinded? He wasn't armed was he? Llanmartinangel

6:28pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Llanmartinangel says...

GardenVarietyMushroo
m
wrote:
These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain.

Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.
That sounds like 'my brother is bigger than yours' talk. Get over it GVM, theirs is way way bigger.
[quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain. Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.[/p][/quote]That sounds like 'my brother is bigger than yours' talk. Get over it GVM, theirs is way way bigger. Llanmartinangel

7:59pm Thu 23 Jan 14

GardenVarietyMushroom says...

Llanmartinangel wrote:
GardenVarietyMushroo

m
wrote:
These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain.

Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.
That sounds like 'my brother is bigger than yours' talk. Get over it GVM, theirs is way way bigger.
Well...hmm... They have the budget and fancy toys - we have the (ever increasing) numbers. Could go either way really.
[quote][p][bold]Llanmartinangel[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GardenVarietyMushroo m[/bold] wrote: These scumbags will do anything to protect their privilege and position at the top of the foodchain. Bring on your water canons - if you up the ante, then so will we.[/p][/quote]That sounds like 'my brother is bigger than yours' talk. Get over it GVM, theirs is way way bigger.[/p][/quote]Well...hmm... They have the budget and fancy toys - we have the (ever increasing) numbers. Could go either way really. GardenVarietyMushroom

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