Concerns about violent protests in Britain over the government’s harsh measures have prompted chief constables to ask Theresa May, the Home Secretary, for permission to deploy water cannons in mainland Britain for the first time. Chief constables have concluded that the machines would be a valuable addition to their armoury after carrying out research, that points to the significant injuries that members of the public can suffer when hit by the powerful water jets.
The Association of Chief Police Officers claimed that the machines would have given them great advantage in the controversial 2011 riots that saw many big cities damaged by protestors. Water cannons are currently used in Northern Ireland, which has six vehicles, but they are not currently permitted to be used in England, Wales or Scotland.
Each water cannon costs between £600,000 and £1million, carrying up to 2,000 gallons of water and reaching speeds comparable to other Heavy Goods Vehicles.
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