London’s Metropolitan Police will keep three water cannons purchased by Mayor Boris Johnson, despite a ruling last week forbidding their use.
Stephen Greenhalgh, the deputy mayor for policing and crime, told members of the London Assembly Tuesday the cannons would be retained “for some time”.
Home Secretary Theresa May denied authorization for use of the water cannons in England and Wales in a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, citing fears they might cause unacceptable injuries and damage the system of policing by consent. The vehicles were bought secondhand from German federal police in June 2014 for around 218,000 pounds ($339,000). Police in Northern Ireland already have permission to use the cannons.
Responding to questions from the assembly’s Police and Crime Committee in light of May’s ruling, Greenhalgh said buying the water cannons had been a “very wise use of taxpayers’ money” and said he made “no apologies whatsoever” for their purchase.
Last week, Johnson said he would reapply for permission to use the cannons if there was to be an occasion when “life and limb and property” were at risk.
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