Boris Johnson backs water cannon for London police

Boris Johnson has given his support to the use of water cannon on the streets of London by police.

The Mayor of London has recommended that Home Secretary Theresa May should approve the use of the water cannon in “limited circumstances”.

The cannons would only be employed to tackle violent disorder, such as that seen during the carnage of the 2011 riots, the Mayor said.

In a letter to the Home Office, Johnson wrote that he had been convinced of the benefits and had “taken into account both the professional advice of the MPS that water cannon is a valuable tool, and the broad public backing for its use.”

In a speech to the London Assembly on Wednesday, Johnson said: “No one wants to see water cannon deployed routinely on the streets of London.

“But having carefully considered the responses to the consultation and extensive poll I have concluded that Londoners support the use of water cannon in limited situations of extreme public disorder.

“The Commissioner has assured me that they will be rarely seen and rarely used and not used to respond to public protest.”

 The second-hand cannons, which will be bought from Germany, are expected to cost £200,000.

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