Police have rubber bullets if London student demo turns nasty

16:19 07 November 2011

Police could fire rubber bullets to restore order if planned student protests in London turn ugly, on Wednesday.

A Met police spokesman said baton rounds would only be used “in extreme circumstances. Permission is required before they can be fired.

Thousands of young people are expected to take to the streets in the capital city, in protest at the rise in tuition fees to £9,000 a year.

Violent extremists could hijack the demonstration and spark chaos, it is feared.

Last year, similar protests were marred by violence, during which Camilla Parker Bowles was poked with a stick through the window of the royal car she was in with Prince Charles.

After August’s London riots, pressure is police to maintain order and prevent a repeat of similar scenes of destruction

“Officers are deployed to facilitate peaceful protests and that is the aim,” said a spokesman.

“There are a range of tactics available if there is criminality and violence associated with the event. One of these is the authority to deploy baton rounds in extreme circumstances.

“These are carried by a small number of trained officers and are not held and used by those officers policing the route on Wednesday.

“To give context to their use, the MPS had authority to use baton rounds during the disorder this summer but did not do so.”

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