– Arrogant & reckless’: London mayor buys England’s first water cannons(RT, June 11, 2014):
London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced the purchase of first water cannons for the Metropolitan Police. The move triggered uproar in the UK as deployment of the cannons has not been authorized and reportedly 98 percent of Britons are against their use.
Johnson’s decision to give the go-ahead for the purchase of three secondhand water cannons has prompted accusations of arrogance and recklessness as their use has not yet been sanctioned on the UK mainland. Metropolitan Police have submitted an application to the Home Office asking for authorization.
Northern Ireland is currently the only place in the UK where the use of the cannons is sanctioned.
A document posted on the mayor’s policing and crime website states claims “purchasing at this time considerably improves the possibility that the Metropolitan Police would have the tool to deploy in the summer.” It adds that such tools “are most likely to be needed” in spite of the fact “there are no expectations of violence.”
The mayor’s office also maintains that buying the secondhand cannons now will save huge amounts of money and avoid commissioning new ones. The three cannons will cost 218,000 pounds (US$365,000) and will be purchased from Germany.