Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Met in extra rubber bullet training

More Met officers could receive training in how to use rubber bullets as a result of the rioting in London

Scotland Yard is training extra officers to use rubber bullets after a review of the summer riots exposed a string of failures by officers.

The force said it is also reviewing options for the use of water cannon after admitting some Londoners felt let down by the police response. There were not enough officers to deal with the unprecedented scale and spread of the disorder, the force's internal report said.

Chiefs also said intelligence gathering "could not cope with the scale and speed of the spread of disorder" as the second part of a review was published.

"Analysis to date of the feedback and information from the community suggests that either the violence was spontaneous without any degree of forethought or that a level of tension existed amongst sections of the community that was not identified through the community engagement process," the report said.

"During the operational response to the disorder resources were allocated proportionately across London, determined by information and intelligence. Resources were activated and deployed in line with mobilisation plans.

"However, in hindsight, the numbers were not enough and they did not arrive quickly enough to deal with the speed with which the violence escalated and spread. In addition, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) processes of resource control meant that not all officers were deployed as effectively as they could have been."

Police said there is in excess of 150,000 hours of CCTV to be viewed in relation to criminal offences.

As part of a review of "alternative tactics", options for the use of water cannon and baton rounds have been considered. The report added: "The MPS has increased the number of officers trained to deploy with baton gun teams so that teams can be deployed more flexibly if and when required."

Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens said: "It is important for our communities, and our brave officers and staff, that we review what happened very thoroughly."

The findings were published after the Riots Communities and Victims Panel found the vast majority of people said they believed the "sole trigger" for disturbances in their areas was the perception that the police "could not contain" the scale of rioting in Tottenham, north London, and then across the capital in August.

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