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Metropolitan Police (Cs Gas And Plastic Bullets)

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training procedures are currently undertaken by the Metropolitan police in the use of CS gas and plastic bullets.

The training is designed to ensure that officers are familiar with the guidelines on the use of CS and baton rounds and with the technical characteristics of the approved equipment. They regularly undertake refresher training.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many and which occasions in the last 12 months CS gas and plastic bullets have been drawn for use by the Metropolitan police.

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis gave authority for the operational use of plastic baton rounds in Tottenham on 6 October, but they were not used. This is the only occasion to date on which such authority has been given in Great Britain. Authority for the operational use of CS gas for public order purposes has never yet been given in the Metropolitan police district.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he was consulted before the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis placed Londoners on notice that he would not hesitate to use CS gas and plastic bullets.

My right hon. Friend was informed that the commissioner had given authority for CS and baton rounds to be used in Tottenham on 6 October, in accordance with the guidelines issued in September 1981. He was consulted and gave his support to the Commissioner in making it clear the following day that CS or baton rounds may have to be used as a last resort, when conventional methods of policing have been tried and failed, or are unlikely to succeed if tried, and when such action is necessary because of the risk of loss of life or serious injury or widespread destruction of property.