Britain to import three water cannons from Germany

Britain to import three water cannons from Germany

Britain to import three water cannons from Germany

In this photo, a TOMA fires pressurized water at a group of protesters on İstiklal Avenue, Istanbul's most popular pedestrianized street. REUTERS Photo

Police in mainland Britain are to acquire their first water cannon after Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, approved spending more than £200,000 on second-hand vehicles from the German federal police, The Telegraph has reported.

But Scotland Yard will be unable to use the controversial machines until Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has completed a lengthy authorisation process allowing the equipment to be used on the mainland for the first time, according to the report.

The decision to go ahead with the purchase of three German water cannon at a cost of £30,000 each, plus refurbishment costs, fuelled speculation that Mrs May is poised to grant the necessary legal powers required to deploy the machines during riots and other violent incidents.

Papers posted on the Mayor’s website this week revealed it was necessary to buy the three cannon now in order to have the vehicles in place in time for the summer, when statistically most riots take place.

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The use of water cannon, or TOMAs as it's called in Turkey, has become a source of controversy. 

A German man was blinded after he was hit in the face at a protest in Stuttgart four years ago.

More recently, the Turkish government has repeatedly been criticized because of the frequent use of TOMAs, while protesters have been trying to outsmart them.

Despite criticism, Ankara had ordered 25 new water cannon trucks last month. Each TOMA-2 costs $245,000.