Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Water Cannon Bid; 15 Cannons Each

Water Cannon Bid; 15 Cannons Each
Translated by Karen L. from Apple Daily and HK01

                                                                     (Source: Apple Daily)

After the Umbrella Revolution, the police force has decided to spend HK$27 million to purchase 3 crowd management vehicles (commonly known as water cannon vehicles) to disperse protesters whom they regard to be violent or potentially violent. The invitation of bid has started since last month. In its tender document, it stated that 15 water cannons should be equipped for each vehicle, which can spray with tear gas, as well as paints.

Among the 15 cannons, they are in particular 2 roof monitors, 2 lateral protection nozzles, 1 rear protection nozzle, 1 forward protection monitor and 9 roof and underbody protection nozzles. The roof monitor, having a range of at least 50 metres, is able to eject 1,200 liters of water in all directions at 1,000 kPa pressure per minute. With each vehicle carrying a 6,500-liter water tank, roof-mounted monitors allow a driver to control the jets through a joystick. All of the vehicles will have on them closed circuit television cameras.

Commissioner of Police Steven Lo said that the vehicles will only be used on certain level of violence of protests. Specific guidelines will not be released, said the police spokesperson as such guidelines involve the details of the police's manoeuver plan, but driving and operation training will be provided.

In 2004, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in the UK once sent a report to the House of Lords on the operation guidelines of the British police force, which stated that there will be clear light and buzzes before using water cannons, and listed the potential and actual dangers when water cannons are in use, for instance, the strong water pressure will hurt the protesters. Quoted from Theresa May rejects the use of water cannons in July 2015:
As water cannons have the capacity to cause harm, it is classed as a ‘less lethal systems and technology’, for which there is an established authorisation process. Their use by the police in England and Wales is subject to Ministerial authorisation.

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