Riots: Cameron calls in water cannon

David Cameron today authorised police to use water cannon and plastic baton rounds against rioters bringing mayhem to Britain’s streets. It comes after three men were killed today after fresh rioting brought mayhem to cities across the Midlands – as the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police appealed for calm. Gangs of copycat rioters and looters sparked ugly scenes in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and West Bromwich. West Midlands Police launched a murder inquiry after three men were struck by a car in Winson Green in Birmingham, shortly after 1am today.

Rioting in Wolverhampton
Rioting in Wolverhampton

David Cameron today authorised police to use water cannon and plastic baton rounds against rioters bringing mayhem to Britain’s streets.

The Prime Minister said it was in response to ‘not just a broken society, but a sick one’.

It comes after three men were killed today after fresh rioting brought mayhem to cities across the Midlands – as the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police appealed for calm.

Gangs of copycat rioters and looters sparked ugly scenes in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and West Bromwich as terrified shoppers fled and business owners closed early, barracading their businesses.

Shops were looted and cars were set on fire as gangs of youths went on the rampage.

West Midlands Police launched a murder inquiry after three men were struck by a car in Winson Green in Birmingham, shortly after 1am today. Two men were pronounced dead at the scene and the third man died in hospital at about 6am.

Witnesses said they were hit by a car while protecting their community from looters. Detectives confirmed a 32-year-old man was being held on suspicion of murder.

In Wolverhampton, a marauding mob of hundreds of masked rioters brought terror, fighting toe-to-toe with police, hurling bottles as terrified shoppers fled and smashing and looting shops in the city centre. Shops including Marks & Spencer and the Ron Flowers sports shop were targeted.

In Birmingham there were reports of a gun being fired and in West Bromwich town centre vehicles were set on fire, blocking the High Street. West Midlands Police made a total of 109 arrests.

Chief Constable David Shaw, from West Mercia Police which covers Shropshire, reassured residents officers were ready to respond if any disorder broke out. But officers today said 12 people were arrested overnight in Redditch and Kidderminster after two cars were set alight following some isolated incidents of disorder. [24link]

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Comments for: "Riots: Cameron calls in water cannon"

sharon paul

Time to bring out the real bullets! these thugs would be stopped dead in Canada!


The thugs in Vancouver the other week didn't look as though they'd been stopped dead.


well this is not canada, it's britain! and i really don't think canada would start shooting at there own people, so get a grip you idiot.


Sharon, I don't think so. The G20 footage of the riots in toronto showed the thugs did what they wanted. My buddy was a cop on the front line where they burn't the first cruiser. They had that street under control, but authorities ordered police to pull back due to media coverage. I agree that they would deal with it much better than back home, but you don't get this mindless crap in canada, unless there's a hockey game. People in Canada seem to have a little more respect for each other.


Here's me thinking Canada was such a sensible country.

Anyway stop preaching to the UK and leave us alone.


It is a sensible country, just not immune to idiots, like every other country in the world.


don't see anyone stealing workwear


LOL. if you suggested work to the scum, they would have heart attack, ( now there"s an idea )


think any one that is charged for public unrest, should have a perm record of this and if a student their loan stopped if not working should have all benifits stopped. Might make them think and sorry if not a uk citizen deport them

also let the police use force now rarther than the thought of them having to answer to the complaints thats most prob the bigeest reason why they are and have to hold back beat the rioters

I'm not a racist but ...

No surprise.


So you are racist then


These "copy-cat" acts of violence are done by youths who do not know how to respect other people's property or livelihoods. They are brought up in a society of broken families, selfish attitudes with a total disrespect to authority be it in schools or on the streets.

The liberal do gooders and to some extent the EU Human Rights haven't helped and these kids know it. They have an attitude of "we can do what we want when we want too" and up until the police etc have had their hands tied.

Unfortunately it has taken 3 nights of mindless violence for Central Government to realise or wake up to the fact that it's time to go back to, what some might call, old fashioned values.

I for one am glad that DC has authorised the use of robust measures to taken on these mindless idiots. And if anyone can really try to find excuses for these scumbags, then maybe they should take a long hard look at their values.

Enough is enough.


It's not the EU Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act was not set up by the EU.

European Court of Human Rights was set up in 1959 pre-dating the European Union and consist of 47 European Countries, some in the EU others who are not.

As for DC authorising use of robust measure, such as having water cannon available within 24 hours, where is he going to get them from, there aren't any in England and just 5 in Northern Ireland. More empty promises from Cameron.


Semantics Martin, semantics!

This is not a time to nitpick, this is a time when all political parties should stand together to condemn such actions. So get behind it and not use it as an opportunity to score political points.

These are not empty promises by the Government, and surely the threat of water cannons is a proactive measure for the mindless idiots who perpetrate acts of violence on innocent people? Hence, their human rights, wherever they were legislated (really!) are null and void.



The EU Human Rights I made a reference to is The Human Rights Act 1998 making the European Convention on Human Rights part of our law here in the UK. The European Convention having been drawn up in 1950 to be precise and since 1966 people have been able to go to the ECHR if they think the UK has not upheld their rights.

Really tut tut! Some people!

The original Andy

Here Here Woody!


Have to agree with Sharon Paul, and I know I'm not alone. Why not? They wouldn't twoc anything again, and neither would their light-fingered miscreant acquaintances. Toe-rags.


That's a terrible thing to say Damo, an insult to toe rags everywhere.

The Original Jake

Fill the tanks with Smartwater.


Oh you beat me to it! I was reading this thread and was about to suggest the same thing! :)


TOTAL SCUM, use real bullets, these scum are no use to society at all, if not british born, deport them back to their own country, SCUMBAGS


If the EDL had any morals or care for communities they would stop or delay their march in Telford - they still have time or it will be very obvious that its really only to stir up trouble and damage local property - come on EDL nobody needs this.

Considering that - why havent the police asked them to delay or stop it?


As well as being able to use water cannons and plastic bullets the police should have powers to spray looters and rioters,whether they are in a mob or on their own, with a brightly coloured non washable dye which would take weeks to come off. This would make them easier to arrest later. Saying that someone is bound to say it would be against their human rights to be sprayed.


To all you younger people here, a certain MR. Enoch Powell M.P.In his speech on April 20th 1968 said that it would happen, but like today, people called him a racist. But history has over the years, has proved him to be right.


This has nothing to do with racism, its got planty to do with flat screen tellies, its funny how the fascists and racists among us will only notice the people of other races smashing up the town centres and assume the good natured white boys are tucked up in bed at home..

R Suppards

Withdraw the UK passports and citizenship of any convicted looters/rioters and give them a one way ride to Somalia. Once there they should appreciate how good they had it here.

let me have my say

I hope that the parents of the youths that are arrested also get charged if found with stolen goods and did not bother to reported them, which gives them a jail sentance to, and any parent found that their kid was involved with just the rioting be given a heavy fine or face prison if not willing to pay.

Tough on crime needs to start now.


I understand that the safest place to be during these riots is the local job centre.


Because these slack-jawed knuckle-draggers don't know where these places are.


Waterstones was the only shop in Croyden Town Centre not to have its windows broken..

Rob, Telford

Books to that lot are like garlic to vampires....


Well said Woody.

I think you speak for the majority.


A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Any benefit recipient who is convicted of an offence and is imprisoned, will lose their benefit entitlement.”

This was taken from a post about these half wits being deprived of their benefits if convicted.

A bit of a pointless remark really. If they got banged up for, say, 2 years, why would they need benefits? 3 square a day, a warm bed every night, TV in their rooms and recreational facilities. Bet there are a few folk out there who would like the same options, without having to work.

A better idea would be to refuse them benefit when they were released, maybe then they would make the effort to find work and be of some use to society.

Damn me, I just saw a pig flying past my house. No, most of them would probably turn to crime again to fund their lifestyle, so, make any sentences harsh, very harsh. Show them the same level of respect and compassion they are showing the community now. NONE.


This is our reward for giving Labour three terms in government. It would have been better in the long run had we given them four. The UK would be bankrupt and the anarchy almost absolute, but we would have the catalyst to vote in a strong government and the will to re-build a better society. As things are now, we're little better than some failing state half a world away and stuck in the Punch and Judy world of party political incompetence.

bob dobbs

there were never any riots during the Thatcher era was there?


There were never any rights without responsibilities, tribalism without shared identity, reward without effort, and, and, and, either.........was there?

David Winnick

ill informed and badly thought out comment watchdog you appear uninformed and you just make people think more about the problems 3 terms of thatcher bought, im not a fan of labour but this should not be politicised as an issue, all parties have failed on this


Roger that. It doesn't alter the fact that these rioters grew up under a Labour government though or that for all the wittering they will do about police cuts, they closed 500 police stations during their tenure. Did you know that or are you in fact, ill informed?


actually Watchdog - check the facts on BBC - 60% of the rioters were over 18, that means the vast majority grew up undert Thatcher, not Blair, HAHAHAHA LOL at Watchdog he got it wrong he is ill informed


Adam 23, Yes they would have been about 5 years old when BLAIR took over, just starting school,so don't blame Thatcher, HA- HA -HA- HA.


I'm sick and tired of the media (especially the BBC) trotting out the same old apologists for these mindless thugs.

They always come out with the usual excuses such as 'poverty','social exclusion', etc - but isn't it funny how their pet thugs have got the money for designer clothes,drugs and 'bling'.

The truth is, there are many young people all over the country who live in relative poverty, lack opportunities and feel excluded but they don't riot, mug and attack innocent people,

Tyrone Shoelaces

It has become pretty apparent over the past few days where they get the money, clothes, drugs and bling.

Certainly not through an honest days work.

John Howard

I couldn't agree more HM. I'm sick of hearing some do-gooder spouting "it's anger in der commoonity innit?" These people are just wasters, thieves and an insult to the good people who have to work to support them. I sat on a bus today listening to two wasters opposite me discussing how much each of them got in benefits and what else they were going to claim for. They were both dressed in designer gear, festooned with jewellery and liberally covered with tattoos. Seeing that I am both a pensioner and a taxpayer, I feel considerable anger that I have to struggle to keep these people in bling, tattoos and fags. When is the next riot? I think I'll join in!

atcham jack

hopefully the worst is now over, probabaly up to 3000 will be charged. there now needs to be an inquiry into what went on

1 mark duggan who was shot innocent party

2 any one caught rioting looting or causing nuisance should lose any benefits they were entitled to.

3 the shock and horror of the sad deaths of those 3 men must have had a sobering affect on even the hardest of rioters

4 i originally thought these copycat rioters were a poor underclass of britain, they are not poor if they can afford blackberrys but they are an underclass and in due course steps will have to be taken to avoid any under class in britain. this will take time and will begin with sensible parenting, dicipline regular schooling and a culture that makes these people feel this country does not owe them a living, but a culture of what can they and i do for our country


Mark Duggan was carrying a firearm, whether he used it or not. Is that the action of an "innocent party"? Live by the sword...

wynford daffyd jones

I agree with Damo, if someone pulled a gun on me i would shoot them, the police were right to shoot him if he was waving a gun at them, safety first.

ol' beastie

Cameron's performance over the last few months has been abysmal. He blustered unconvincingly through the hacking scandal and is now looking lost and bewildered as we go through this. The platitudes and stock responses that he's learned by rote only serve to give the impression that we are actually leaderless and frankly up a banker built creek without a paddle. We are running out of serious voting options, and no, the bad joke Little Englander pressure groups aren't one of them nor the comedians in the Labour party.


Why did hundreds of police along with armoured cars turn up in Eltham last night? Eltham has been a riot free area and if anything the local people should be commended for peacefully defending their own community.


no, they should not be commended.

vigilante partrols are a bad idea, they are criminal and they a more likely to lead to problems

the fact that this particular mob were EDL sympathisers too further shows their approach was not designed to help anyone and the police were right to move them on


That's easy to say from the comfort of quiet, leafy Shropshire.

Imagine the feeling of sheer terror knowing that your community is about be attcked by hundreds of yobs but also knowing that the police are unable to defend you and your family?

Without the vigilante patrols, Eltham would have smashed and looted like other places like Ealing.

Vigilante patrols also stopped Enfield being attacked for second time.

Self defence is no offence.


To those quoting the Race card, have another look at the photo, look beyond the black faces, theres plenty of white ones too.

As for watch dog, we had riots in the 80's under the Tories.


Yep, I agree Ron, but they had other causes. The current nonsense has its roots in Labours destruction of the social fabric of our country since 1997.

youth worker

FACT - of the over 1,000 arrests only 300 were under 18.

99% of young Londoners have had nothing to do with this


too little too late cameron, this should have been stopped on day one, 4 days of rioting and still no agressive policing, e.g. water cannon or kettling, its rediculous and i dont blame the police, they are heros, its the politicians who have emasculated them


I tend to be on the left of most political discussions but it's been hard to respond to these riots with credible leftist sentiments.

One point to Woody, though, wouldn't you agree that the question of rights should in fact be raised here because the rioters have trampled all over one of the most basic human rights of all, ie the right to live safely and without fear(?)

Two other things I disagree with ;

1. Cameron's statement that thére is a 'simple' explanation for all this. The lack of values, lack of responsibility and lack of regard for others that brought all this on actually has very complex causes, otherwise the events could have easily been foreseen and prevented.

2. Any attempt to link it all to race or immigration. Actually, the Seikh and Turkish communities (amongst others) have been extremely brave and dignified in response. To link the riots to immigration is as much an abdication as to say it's all the fault of bankers or fat-cat businessmen.


Totally agree with you James regarding the basic human rights of all law abiding people. It is an outrage that people should fear for their own safety.

To clarify my point, all those who have been involved in the riots, the rioters, have waived their human rights.

Ken Adams

Basic human rights are rights of the indivdual against states. It is these who hold power over us, it is not a basic human right against other individuals.

This idea is a new interpretation I first heard of from Tony Blair and in fact is code for removing our indivdual basic human rights againt the state and increasing state power on the pretext of protecting us from ourselves. If we fear for our safety from mobs that is a direct failure of the state which having now removed our basic human right to self protection has not stepped into fill the vacuum. Those calling for the police to be given extra powers should try to remember that one day those same powers might well be used against them, a scenario we have seen repeated many times with the terrorism laws.


That's a fair point. Just to clarify mine, or express it a bit better, free societies are based on individual human rights but these have to go hand in hand with responsibility - and the most important elements of that responsibility are a)to abide by the law

and b)to respect others, ie your fellow citizens. The rioters showed no such responsibility.

David Winnick

david cameron should be ashamed now of his "hug a hoody" speech

he should withdraw those comments now

he should reverse his police cuts

he should sack ken clarke

he should u turn on prisons policy

he should let the police have more powers and set up an independent review of police tactics / policy and rights and wrongs when dealing with rioters


calamity cameroon has been left exposed as soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime, there has been a complete lack of firm leadership during this crisis

Mr Beastie

I think we have just lived through a very quiet and throughly English Police coup. I think the 'stand down' was a 'face off' to the government and the government blinked. Expect the hacking inquiry to go strangly easy on the Met and the Police cuts to be abolished. With regard to punishing the offenders, we can't. The jails are full already and even if you fine this lot they won't have the money to pay it anyway. But then of course you can always take it from their benefits. That'll be the benefits that some short sighted people are clamouring for to be suspended. It will take some serious legislation {and time} for the State to leave someone penniless and/or homeless. Community service is a non-starter as Osbornes Scythe slashes {apparently} through the public sector. Besides we haven't got the money to pay to train all of the new supervisors needed from the public pot that we have already emptied. It's rum right enough. But we'll muddle through. It's only the paranoia as keeps yer goin' mon!


i am furious with people who sit in the warm on a sofa all safe and have the audacity to criticise the police, our brave men and women in uniform risked their lives to help sort this out and they were prudent not to attack 100's of armed youths, in many places they were physically outnumbered and outgunned so they were right to simply wait til the next day to arrest these yobbos in the safety of their homes

Helen R

this is the best comment i've read on here!

I agree!

well said and well done to the heroic public servants who stopped this rioting with their bravery and professionalism

I will say what David Cameron should be saying " a big thank you to the police "


a What a load of rubbish, what do we pay them for then??????????? Outgunned????????

The original Andy

John, Police are taxpayers too you know. However, I also wonder what the reference to outgunned means.


assume he means some of these young gang kids in tottenham and hackney actually carry guns which makes the whole policing situation more understandable hey?

maria jones


i didnt see any water cannons?

you say "cameron calls in the water cannon"

But he hasnt has it, thats the problem!


From a safe distance, it actually appears that water cannons were probably never necessary. The police should have done at the beginning what they did in the end, ie deployed more officers, dispersed groups, arrested people in the act of theft, marched on the rioters in columns etc etc. Once these things were done, they managed to take back control.

Of course, this is all wisdom after the event and I largely agree with a in Post 29 -who could have foreseen lawbreaking on quite that scale and how could individual officers have been any braver?


Peter Hitchens is spot on.

"Those apprehended by the police appear to me for the most part to be stragglers and losers, the slow runners and dimwits who were still on the scene when the constabulary eventually arrived. They are not the main actors. I have no sympathy for them, but the idea that the law is about to take a severe revenge on the culprits is laughable. Most of the culprits got away with it."

John Osbourne

David Cameron has lost control, this is general fatal to any premiership, he is a dead man walking from now on.

Helen R

Well done to the heroic and brave officers of the police force who saved our Bacon yet again

thank you

james prees

im just glad its over,

no need to blame any one but the looters

everyone deserves a holiday even the pm and the police did their job though it took a while but ultimately its no ones fault but the people who CHOSE to break into shops to steal things against the law of the land

ye olde farte

these kids need locking up,

its not the PM's fault these rioters are the ones to blame, i would have them hung


cameron has no right to talk on this he wasnt on the front line, he wasnt even in the country, he has no right


these people should be locked up and the key thrown away, we must not turn on each other, whatever your politics, it is not the polititans fault, whatever your view on law and order it is not the polices fault, the blame lies with the criminals, punish them and stop trying to blame anyone or anything


the flurry of right wing rhetoric and rediculous initiatives from the government now just makes a mockery of their rediculous early days policies about letting criminals out early, they have fallen out with the police and tarred their reputation on crime for years to come with this folly


cameron has been slow off the mark here and has looked immature and a weak leader through out the crisis, the only hope he can glean from this is that bo jo has looked worser still, so he has no leadership coup plotters


An e-petition to get EDL banned. Its needs 90,000 signatures minimum. Any e-petition with this amount of sign-ups must be debated in the House of Commons.

Please remeber recent issues in Norway and what a single gunman can do from the far right. When economies collapse the right flourishes, we need to prevent their hatred. The time is now...