View Full Version : Chief Inspector wants UK Armed Police to Shoot Rioters

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 01:11 PM
A report has been produced by The Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Denis O'Connor, on British police riot tactics in which he says "we must prioritise civil order" where there attacks on buildings that might cause a risk to life.

He is recommending a far more agressive approach by police in riot situations generally.

Rising discontent with austerity will certainly be bringing more people onto the streets to protest in Britain. This report is a "shot across the bows" to deter protest, and, if approved, attempt to crush it.

Sir Denis added that although the best response was for police to mobilise large numbers of officers, there would always be a potential "gap" before enough arrived and that other options might be needed to protect the public.

These included driving "protected" vehicles to advance against rioters, using rubber bullets or water cannon or possibly firearms and a public debate was now needed so that the police, who currently lacked confidence in what they could legally do, could act with confidence.

"We need some options when someone is trying to set fire to a building that someone is in, which in an urban area is beyond reckless," he said.

Other key findings in today's report included:

New "go forward" tactics need to be deployed by police after some "erred on the safe side" by holding back from making arrests.

Military back up should be examined but only for behind the scenes roles, rather than directly tackling rioters.

There were "unacceptable weaknesses" in the way that support for the Met from other police forces was organised during the riots.

The most controversial proposal, however, was the suggestion that arsonists could be shot.

The report quotes legal advice from barrister Timothy Otty which stated that arson attacks on "commercial buildings with links to residential dwellings" would "clearly constitute a threat of serious injury or to life" that would justify the use of force.

The legal advice said that this would most likely involve the use of rubber bullets - officially known as
"attenuating energy projectiles" - but could also justify the firing of live ammunition.