As London’s riots spread to Birmingham and rose to such a pitch that the FA cancelled a soccer match at Wembley Stadium between the English and Dutch international teams, calls rose to turn water cannon on the rioters. But the Home Secretary flatly rejected those calls.
Theresa May this morning rejected growing pressure to deploy water cannon against London’s rioters, insisting that “the way we police is by consent.”
The Home Secretary appeared to rule out sending water cannon or the Army onto the streets of the capital, despite a third night of violence.
Speaking on Sky News, she said that police intelligence and the support of local communities would help quell the disturbances.
“The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon,” she said. “The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.”
As those charged with offences appear in court today, “people will start to see the consequences of their actions”, Mrs May added.
“Consent.” It’s fair so say that rioters aren’t lending their consent to being arrested. What makes May think they’ll “consent” to stopping rioting in the first place?
The only “consent” available is by the law-abiding who have now lived under threat for days on end, and who are not allowed under British law to defend themselves. If the government doesn’t move to end the riots, though, how long with their “consent” last?