Following on from Lord Stevens comments, Senior officers are demanding the 'valuable' crowd control weapons, previously deployed by UK police only in Northern Ireland, and the Government has signalled that it will foot the bill.
Three of the fearsome £1.3million machines could be held at strategic locations to provide fast response to any outbreaks of violence. Chief constables are also considering whether CS gas and Taser stun guns could also be used too.
But critics said the move risks further transforming the police into a 'paramilitary force'. They also point out that the water cannons are too slow-moving to have been deployed effectively during last year's fast-moving riots, and need to be refilled frequently, but supporters say they could be used in static or slow-moving clashes, for example to protect high-profile locations (e.g. stopping people marching to Parliament in order to protest - democracy eh)!
And the reason ... Police chiefs and Politicians are grappling with widespread fears that fresh rioting could break out ... fuelled by unemployment, political discontent and the struggling economy ... and the Government are keen to arm the Police to protect themselves (and the unelected elite, who quietly wield power and who drive increasing levels of inequality).