Simon Pountain, who will be in charge of policing protests in London on the 9th of November, has told journalists that officers carrying baton rounds (rubber bullets) will be on standby. From his interview on Sky:
In terms of baton rounds, baton rounds is a valuable tactic for me to be able to have available, should the need arise. At the moment, I have asked for it to be available to me. Those units will be parked away from the area, and they’ll be on standby, should the need arise because the last thing that I want is if any of my staff are coming under sustained attack, as we saw in previous demonstrations, I need the ability to protect them and to make sure that they don’t sustain serious injuries, or even worse. And so I want to have those units available to me so that I can deploy them if necessary and not having to wait for an hour or two hours to get them to me.
The important thing to note here is that the firearms officers carrying baton rounds will be on standby in a van waiting somewhere near to the protest, rather than in their normal headquarters, and that Pountain says that he wants them to be available quickly. This is a significant step up from the normal situation and indicates that he is more likely to use them. Secondly, he said “if any of my staff are coming under sustained attack, as we saw in previous demonstrations, I need the ability to protect them.” That wording is very significant. “As we saw in previous demonstrations” suggests that the police will need no more reaction from the protesters than we have seen before to open fire on the crowd.
On the plus side, he says that no officers will be carrying tasers. Woo.
@bc_tmh for these links.