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Force has “no plans” to introduce water cannons

Police UniformWest Yorkshire Police has “no plans” to introduce water cannons to pubic order incidents in the area, the chief constable said this week.

As the Metropolitan Police and London mayor, Boris Johnson, are pressing the case for water cannon to be deployed in the capital as soon as this summer, Mark Gilmore said this would not be happening on the streets of West Yorkshire.

A short statement from the chief said: “We have no plans to use water cannons”.

According to reports, the police and crime commissioners (for the forces in Greater Manchester, West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Merseyside and Thames Valley have all rejected the idea and suggested they would be unwilling to share the cost.

Currently water cannon is approved for use only in Northern Ireland.

Tony Lloyd, the PCC for Greater Manchester, said he remained sceptical. “No convincing argument has been made about how water cannons could improve policing or community safety,” he said.

“Before we moved anywhere close to using them on our streets, there would need to be a full and proper public debate about when they would be used, how they would be used and why they would be used. For example, they would have been

completely ineffective on the streets of Manchester and Salford during the 2011 riots.”

Greater Manchester’s chief constable, Sir Peter Fahy, is in agreement with Lloyd.

Bob Jones, PCC for the West Midlands, told the Guardian: “I feel such equipment would be as much use as a chocolate teapot. I fail to see why we should pay towards a provision I cannot see us using.”

Date posted: February 6, 2014

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