UK police to use live rounds, plastic bullets and water cannon in future riots

From World Socialist Web Site:

By Robert Stevens
27 December 2011

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has recommended that police should be able to use water cannon, rubber bullets and live firearms during any future UK riots.

The Rules of Engagement: A review of the August 2011 disorders” was commissioned by the home secretary following the riots this summer. It endorses the use of these weapons in certain situations, giving the example of “Arson attacks on commercial buildings with linkage to residential dwellings” as a situation in which police can shoot people deemed to be involved.

The report reveals that discussions have been held regarding a role for the military. Although stating, “It is difficult at present to conceive of a purely public order situation in which the level of force for which the military are currently trained in and equipped to use would be justified”, the HMIC adds the military could be used “to take over logistical roles to free police officers for public order duties”.

While calling for the stepping up of state repression against the population, the report pays scant attention to the fact that the immediate trigger for the riots was the shooting dead by a police CO19 Special Firearms Unit of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old unarmed man, in Tottenham, London, on August 4.

Family and friends of Duggan, as well as local residents, organised a peaceful protest to demand answers outside Tottenham police station on Saturday August 6. The protest was attacked by police, which was the immediate trigger for the riots.

The HMIC report lists a series of scenarios in which various weapons could be used in future episodes of disorder. It suggests that plastic bullets, described as “attenuating energy projectiles (AEPs)”, could be used to respond to barricades being set up and missiles being thrown by protesters.

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One Response to “UK police to use live rounds, plastic bullets and water cannon in future riots”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    About time they used in England what they use in other parts of the United Kingdom, such as Northern Ireland.

    It is long overdue some parity being shown between english and irish, being shown by the english.

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