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Friday, 24 January 2014

Water Cannons Threatened in London

From Liberty


Water Cannon Consultation 

As a Liberty member in London, we are writing to you to speak out against the potential introduction of water cannons. Water cannons, often considered a symbol of inflammatory and brutal policing, have never before been used in England and Wales. Boris Johnson and the Metropolitan Police are currently arguing they are necessary to prevent disorder.

A public consultation into the use of water cannons in London has opened up: you can have your say here.

5 reasons to speak out on water cannons:
  1. Water cannons are inflammatory, militaristic and brutal. They are liable to cause panic, in addition to pain and distress and are capable of causing serious injury.
  2. Police foresee the use of water cannon in protest-type situations. The very threat of their use is likely to chill peaceful protest in much the same way as damaging measures such as kettling.
  3. Water cannons are indiscriminate. Even where violent or criminal acts take place, it will be impossible to protect innocent bystanders and peaceful protesters from the blanket effect of the weapon. 
  4. At a time when the Metropolitan Police are rightly concerned to address a crisis of public confidence in policing, this approach is likely build barriers rather than promote trust.
  5. After the aftermath of the August 2011 riots, the Association of Chief Police Officers were very clear that water cannon would not have helped with countering criminal behaviour during the riots. 
If you are concerned by the proposals to introduce water cannons to London's streets please e-mail watercannonengagement@mopac.london.gov.uk by 28 February.

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