Met Police ‘could have fired rubber bullets in London 22 times in two years’

15:57 18 March 2012

The Met Police could have used rubber bullets to control public disorder incidents in London 22 times in the past two years, it has emerged.

Firearms officers could have opened fire on crowds with the so-called ‘non-lethal’ bullets after police chiefs authorised the deployment of some of the near-3,000 baton rounds in the force’s armoury.

Scotland Yard has refused to say when and where the rubber bullets might have been used, claiming that making such information public could jeopardise future policing operations.

The figures relating to 2010 and 2011 were obtained by London Assembly member and Liberal Democrat peer Dee Doocey in a question to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

In his written answer on behalf of Met commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, Mr Johnson confirmed the force had “authorised the movement” of rubber bullets 22 times in the two years.

Lady Doocey told The Independent national newspaper: “I have long believed rubber bullets have no role in policing demonstrations in London. This secrecy over their potential use merely confirms that view. It is simply wrong for the Met to be silent when on so many occasions the use of rubber bullets was being considered.”

Although they were used in Northern Ireland over many years, the rounds have still never been used on the British mainland.

The figure of how many times the Met Police could have used the bullets – known as attenuating energy projectiles (AEPs) - is higher than previously thought.

Earlier this week Scotland Yard published its final report into last summer’s London riots following a comprehensive review of its actions.

The review said the use of baton rounds had been discussed at length and they were recognised as a “viable tactic, that offers a less lethal option if absolutely necessary to protect life, prevent serious injury or prevent serious damage to property (in circumstances likely to lead to loss of life/serious injury).”

The report went on: “In answer to the review’s findings that a more localised availability of this resource might have enabled commanders to deploy baton rounds as an effective tactic, the MPS is currently considering the establishment of this tactic as a more readily available option across London at short notice.

“In doing so, the MPS recognises the need to consult widely and the importance of public debate in support of the British Policing Model.

“In the interim, the MPS has already responded with an increase in trained officers to work with Kestrel Teams (teams deployed with baton rounds). This increase in capacity has already enabled the MPS to make more agile use of this tactic.”

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

You can try and substitute Lionel Messi, but really, he’ll do what he wants.

Read more

“Exterminate!” For a race so dedicated to destroying things, the Daleks are doing wonders for kids’ IT skills…

Read more

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has told how much she is enjoying being married.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

“Exterminate!” For a race so dedicated to destroying things, the Daleks are doing wonders for kids’ IT skills…

An Investigation is under way to work out how the fire started.

Brazilian wandering spider earns its name as another arrives in a bunch of imported bananas.

We loved her as the Oxo mum, but she was so much more than that.

TOP Stories

16 minutes ago
[Photograph by London Ambulance Service]

Firefighters are tackling a fire at a warehouse between Victoria Park and Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park.

09:39
The ITV studio was evacuated live on TV (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

X Factor contestant Stephanie Nala faced a second eviction today after a fire alarm caused the Lorraine studio to be evacuated live on TV.

08:51
(Pic: Ian West/PA Wire)

Actress and presenter Lynda Bellingham died yesterday in her husband Michael’s arms at a London hospital.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.