Sadiq Khan to sell off three ‘illegal’ water cannon bought by former London mayor Boris Johnson
PUBLISHED: 14:22 14 December 2016 | UPDATED: 14:22 14 December 2016
The cannon have never been used
The full cost of maintaining three water cannon bought by former London mayor Boris Johnson has been revealed.
Mr Johnson, now the foreign secretary, bought the cannon, without any approval for their use in London, from German Federal Police in June 2014 at a cost £218,000.
Since then, Met Police have spent more than £300,000 on the weapons which have sat gathering dust at a secure location, reportedly the Met’s training facility near Gravesend.
More than £19,000 was spent on paint jobs and £970.50 on installing radio/CD players.
In July 2015 then home secretary Theresa May refused permission for their use on the capital’s streets.
Current mayor Sadiq Khan aims to save the capital up to £175,000 over the eight years by selling them off.
“It beggars belief that such a huge amount of taxpayers’ money has been wasted on paying to store these redundant machines,” said Mr Khan.
“We’ve been left in this position by the previous mayor who rashly purchased them before he even had permission to use them, and now it’s my job to claw back as much of London taxpayers’ money as I can.”
The cannon will be sold via the Ministry of Defence, with Mr Khan pledging to use money raised on tackling gang crime.
“By working with communities and returning to real neighbourhood policing, we can do far more for the safety of our city rather than relying on obsolete and illegal water cannon. They do not belong on the streets of London, and by selling them we’re able to put money back into helping young people affected by gang crime and keeping Londoners safe”.
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