A London Assembly member has described the arrival of three water cannon in the capital as “a depressing day for policing by consent”.
The cannon have been purchased from the German government for use by the Metropolitan Police despite opposition from the London Assembly, including some of the Mayor’s Conservative colleagues.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) decided to push ahead the the purchase despite not yet having received permission to use the cannon from Home Secretary Theresa May.
Mayor Boris Johnson and MOPAC have previously defended the purchase as better value for taxpayers than purchasing new vehicles which could take up to two years to arrive.
The three german cannon are currently being renovated to meet UK standards.
Jenny Jones, a Green party member of the Assembly, said: “The arrival of water cannon on the mainland UK for use on London’s streets is a depressing day for policing by consent.
“The Mayor’s desire to give the Met Police this weapon has meant he has ignored the Assembly’s investigation on this issue, his own consultation where 98% of Londoners said they didn’t want them, and ignored members of his own team who have concerns.
“Water cannon have no place on our streets and I hope the Home Secretary sends them back.”
Baroness Jones says she’ll use Thursday’s meeting of the Assembly’s police and crime committee to question the Mayor further about the decision to purchase the cannon and their use in the capital.
The meeting takes place at City Hall from 10am on Thursday 10th July.