Manchester police give bizarre reason for using snipers at anti-austerity march during Tory conference

Police snipers were spotted on roofs in Manchester on Sunday as thousands of citizens exercised their democratic right to protest at an anti-austerity march outside the Tory conference.

While many were outraged at the sight on social media, having police marksmen on the scene could perhaps be argued on a security basis.

As well as Britain having been the target of terrorist attacks in the past, including IRA bombs in Manchester, the city is currently hosting the Conservative Party conference with high-profile politicians including the prime minister and his Cabinet in attendance.

However, Greater Manchester Police's explanation for having high-powered rifles on rooftops seems slightly bizarre.

A spokesperson for the force told the Manchester Evening News that the guns were not there to shoot people, but rather "purely for observation" because of their powerful telescopic sights.

It is an ongoing observation of the biggest march that has ever been in Manchester because of the Tory Party conference.

But they are there purely for observation and supporting the police at the march as it’s a major public event.

They are high up for that reason, to observe. And they [the guns] are used for their powerful sight, which is stronger than any pair of binoculars. They are not there to shoot people.

  • GMP Spokesperson

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