Met has stockpiled plastic bullets since last year's riots

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The Independent Online

Police in London have been stockpiling plastic bullets since the riots last August.

A Freedom of Information request by the BBC revealed that last July, the Metropolitan Police held 700 baton rounds – but by December the number was 10,024.

Plastic bullets have never been used to prevent disorder on the British mainland, and Scotland Yard said the rise in the number it held was "appropriate". But a former Metropolitan Police commander told the BBC that the huge rise suggested an increased willingness to use the weapons.

It also emerged yesterday that hundreds of alleged London rioters are still facing trial. The cases of more than 450 people are still being processed by the Crown Prosecution Service. Of these, 200 are at trial stage and every week 12 more cases are handed to the CPS for prosecution.