11 Jun 2014

Going cheap: Boris snaps up German water cannon for London streets

Questions about London’s so-called bargain basement offer on water cannons have been met with a diplomatic silence by the sellers, the German Federal Police.

We asked them for more details on their three second hand Wasserwerfers, and queried what was behind the knock-down price of just £30,000 per cannon.

A spokesman said “I am sorry. The contract negotiations are still going on. For this reason, the federal police is not able to give you any information.”

London’s mayor Boris Johnson revealed he’d been rushed into buying three and saving the London taxpayer some £2.5m. The value-for-money argument was just too compelling.

He told the London Assembly that if they hadn’t agreed a deal, the trusted anti riots vehicles would have gone elsewhere in Europe, and he expressed confidence that authorisation to use them on the streets will be forthcoming.

That was not the message from the Home Secretary Theresa May who has the final say, or so she thinks.

“Let me be clear” she told reporters, “the Metropolitan Police started talking about water canon after the riots in August 2011…They (the police) did not submit that case to the Home Office until March 2014.

“I will be taking a decision, but I will be taking it on the right basis. There are difficult issues here, health and safety issues that need to be considered properly”.

A report from her scientific advisory board is expected by the end of the month.

By then one assumes, irrespective of what the committee may advise, the water cannons will be on their way or already here.. and if the Mayor stands by his words he will be the first one to be power-hosed by the water dragon.

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