GMP crime commissioner Tony Lloyd has revealed he is ‘very pleased’ to see police water cannon use banned in England and Wales.
Mr Lloyd explained that there were few benefits from using the cannons and that they could damage the relationship between the police and the general public, after Home Secretary Teresa May announced the news earlier today.
He cited potential dangers such as cannons causing ‘life-changing’ injuries and stated that the cost for them would be ‘too high’.
“Using water cannons here in Greater Manchester would radically alter the relationship between the police and the communities they serve,” he said.
“Use of water cannons is more consistent with the paramilitary style of policing we associate with other countries rather than the neighbourhood policing which serves us so well.
“Their use would undo the good work that’s been done to instil confidence in the police service that has been built over recent years.
Mr Lloyd even believed that water cannons wouldn’t be effective in serious events such as the 2011 Manchester riots, which included looting and violence in the city centre.
“We had the riots in Greater Manchester at the same time as London, and the advice I have been given is that they wouldn’t have been effective, but the damage they would have caused to the relationships between the police and the public would have been long lasting,” he said.
“Those who speak in favour of using water cannons cite some benefits. But at what cost – the potential for life-changing injuries, the damage they would do to police-community relationships. The cost is just too high.”
“I’m very pleased with the Home Secretary’s announcement today. Her decision is both considered and far-sighted.”