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

19:19
The case is being heard at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A former public school boy accused of sexually assaulting an ex-classmate after a boozy night out told jurors that their encounter was “definitely consensual”.

Read more
Myles Lovell saved the lives of two people - and now wants to know how they are doing [Picture by St John's Ambulance]

A man who saved the lives of two people after their car flipped over is appealing for them to get in touch.

Read more
Seahorses are a protected species and trade in them is illegal (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A Chinese medicine trader has been fined for selling sexual enhancement pills made with seahorse extracts in Elephant and Castle.

Read more

TOP Stories

19:19
The case is being heard at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A former public school boy accused of sexually assaulting an ex-classmate after a boozy night out told jurors that their encounter was “definitely consensual”.

Myles Lovell saved the lives of two people - and now wants to know how they are doing [Picture by St John's Ambulance]

A man who saved the lives of two people after their car flipped over is appealing for them to get in touch.

Seahorses are a protected species and trade in them is illegal (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A Chinese medicine trader has been fined for selling sexual enhancement pills made with seahorse extracts in Elephant and Castle.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 17:16
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.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Can you guess which bridge crossing the Thames in London which? (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Do you know your Blackfriars from your Southwark, Cannon Street from Waterloo, or do all of London’s bridges look alike to you?

Read more
Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more