Disposal of Water Cannon

Reference code: 
PCD 92
Date signed: 
15 November 2016
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to approve marketing for sale of the MPS’s three water cannon, in line with the Mayor’s manifesto.


That the DMPC approves the marketing for sale of the MPS’s three water cannon.

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

Introduction and background

In June 2014, the then Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime signed a decision for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to purchase three existing water cannon from the German Federal Police, totalling a full cost of £218,000 including purchase, transportation and refurbishment.

In July 2015 the Home Secretary refused to grant a license for use of water cannon in England and Wales.

In line with the Mayor of London’s manifesto pledge, approval is now sought to dispose of the three water cannon.

Issues for consideration

In accordance with the current MOPAC Scheme of Consent and Delegation the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC) is requested to approve the disposal of the three water cannon.

The original purchase of the water cannons was premised on the fact that any resale would have to be undertaken with agreement from the German Federal Police in order to protect operational capabilities. They have set the following contractual criteria for any intended resale by the MPS:

Any resale would only be supported in the following two areas:

  • Police organisations in member states of the European Union

  • Civil Protection organisations in member states of the European Union (the Federal Police routinely dispose of their obsolete water cannon to the fire service who use them as mobile tankers once the turrets have been removed)

Any sale to private enterprises would not be supported and in any event the Federal Police would expect final sign off and agreement as to the eventual purchaser. Also

  • There is to be no advertising on any public forum i.e. internet sites open to the public

  • The sale cannot be at auction or in any public arena

MPS Fleet services, in conjunction with MOD DSA (the Ministry of Defence Disposal Service Authority), identified a vetted contractor to handle the sale. The German Federal Police have indicated that this route to market suits their requirements.

Financial Comments

Any receipts arising from the disposal of these assets are intended to be used on youth projects aimed at decreasing gang crime. 

Legal Comments

MOPAC has the power to dispose of surplus properties (including land) under paragraph 7 (2) (b) of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (“the Act”).

This report confirms the property is surplus to operational requirements. Further, that the capital receipts from the property disposal will assist MOPAC in securing the maintenance of the Metropolitan Police Service, and ensure that it is efficient and effective, as required under section 3(6) of the Act.

The MPS will remain the legal owner of the vehicles whilst in possession of the contactor.

Equality Comments

There are no direct equality implications arising from the disposal of the water cannons.

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