Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Police 'need riot tactic rules', watchdog says

Police should be given clear rules about when they can use water cannon and plastic bullets against rioters, a watchdog has said.

But officers could lawfully have shot arsonists in some cases during the summer rioting in England, the Inspectorate of Constabulary said.

Water cannon and plastic bullets could have been used in a "number of real scenarios", its report suggested.

MPs have said such tactics would have been "indiscriminate and dangerous".

Legal advice in the inspectorate's review of the August riots indicates that firearms can "potentially" be deployed where arson poses a threat to life, or of serious injury.

This could be justified given the "immediacy of the risk and the gravity of the consequences", said the report, which calls for a new framework for policing public disorder. Read More