Riot squad: Met looks to buy military-style vehicles to tackle disorder in London

Rachael Burford
Armoured police personnel carriers: AFP via Getty Images

Scotland Yard wants to buy a new fleet of military-style armoured vehicles to help tackle public disorder, firearms incidents and riots in London.

Last week the force put out a notice stating it was looking for suppliers for armoured personnel carriers, armoured military vehicles, armoured combat vehicles and weapon carriers.

It also wants security, fire-fighting and defence equipment and armour plating.

It wishes to buy “tactical intervention and public order and firearm patrol vehicles” that can carry up to eight personnel and have a gross vehicle weight over 10 tonnes, according to the notice.

A budget for the fleet is yet to be finalised. A Met spokesman said the new equipment was also not linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the vehicles would not be on the streets until next year.

He said: “The [force] operates a number of armoured personnel vehicles, which are all due for renewal. This renewal project has been ongoing for over a year, as part of strategic planning.”

A list of military-style vehicles the Met currently owns is not available to the public.

However it has at least three upgraded bullet-resistant armoured Jankel Guardians, which cost about £100,000 each.

The seven-tonne personnel carrier can withstand AK-47 bullets and has a bomb-proof floor. It also owns 13 older Jankels, which were deployed during the 2011 London riots.

The fleet, normally based at Heathrow, was sent out onto the streets after widespread looting and public disorder. They were also seen at Wembley in 2015 following the terror attacks in Paris.

A Met spokesman said: “The current vehicles are used periodically for a number of policing functions, which include safeguarding officers during public order and firearm incidents.

“The decision to publish this prior information notice is not linked in any way to the current events being experienced in the capital. These vehicles will not be in service until late 2021.”

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