Museum of London considering purchasing scrap parts of Boris Johnson's water cannons for exhibition on modern policing

The Museum of London is considering purchasing parts of Boris Johnson’s water canon after they were sold to a scrapyard at a loss of over £300,000.

The three riot control vehicles were purchased from the German federal police. 

However in 2015, they were banned from being used by then home secretary Theresa May, consigning them to a storage yard in Gravesend. 

The museum is looking to purchase some objects from the scrapyard as part of a collection which would aim to tell the story of modern policing in the capital.

It would be located at the museum’s new Smithfield’s site.

A Museum of London spokesperson told the Standard: “Many of our most interesting objects come from scrap heaps, indeed almost all archaeological finds are human waste of some sort.

“Whether it’s possible to salvage a part of the water cannon from the scrap yard has yet to be determined, but even a section of it could help to tell a complex story about policing in the capital , which forms an important part of our collection.”

The water cannon were bought for £85,022 by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, on the advice of police chiefs, in the wake of the 2011 London riots.

But in 2015, Theresa May refused to licence their use on the UK mainland, saying they could cause “primary, secondary and tertiary injuries” such as spinal fracture, concussion, eye injury and blunt trauma and risked inflaming community tensions.

After taking office in 2016, Mr Khan vowed to sell the cannon as he revealed that a further £237,812 had been spent bringing them up to scratch.

This included £3,100 on sirens, £4,500 on “Battenberg” police vehicle markings and £970 on radio and CD players.

The £11,025 raised from the sale - to Reclamations (Ollerton) Ltd scrapyard in Newark - is part of a £13.2m fund announced on Monday by Mr Khan for 72 youth projects to tackle the root causes of serious violent crime.

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