UK Police SNIPERS spotted on roof at peaceful anti-austerity march sparked by Tory conference
Pictured: Police SNIPERS spotted on roof at peaceful anti-austerity march sparked by Tory conference
40 COMMENTS 19:09, 4 OCT 2015 UPDATED 12:18, 5 OCT 2015
BY JOHN SHAMMAS , KATIE BUTLER
Images of the armed cops have been circulating on social media but Greater Manchester Police said they were there for “observation” only
Snipers have been pictured in Manchester city centre as thousands march in protest to cuts, coinciding with the Conservative Party conference.
Armed police can be seen on the roof of the Great Northern complex in images that have been widely shared on social media.
Twitter user Ben Whittingham posted an aerial photograph of a man looking through the sniper on top of a roof, the Manchester Evening News reports.
He captioned it: “Just a police sniper on roof of Tory party conference, which resembles a prison.”
— Ben Whittingham (@BenWhittingham2) October 4, 2015
Another user, Ben McNally, wrote: “Sniper team on the roof of great northern … For safety.”
One tweeted: “It is drilled into deer stalkers to never use a rifle scope to ‘observe’ in this way.
“Only point at something if going to shoot.”
James Lee wrote: “So why not use binoculars?”
Another, Chris Wynne, said: “Really, were all the binoculars broken?”
One user wrote: “We have now entered the new world order.”
Police have defended the decision to use the marksmen, saying they are there ‘purely for observation’.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “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.