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By Carl Jackson Friday 07 December 2012 Updated: 14/12 12:29
CALLS have been made by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff to ban riot training being sold as an entertainment experience in Droitwich.
Mr Luff expressed his ‘profound fears’ and said he would be appealing to the Home Secretary to get the package stopped immediately.
The days out, offered for £79 by Wish.co.uk at Rushock Trading Estate on the Droitwich Road, involve participants learning how to control unruly crowds, before swapping over and becoming the rioters themselves.
They don full body armour and are armed with 4ft riot shields and batons. The equipment is identical to that used by British Army and Metropolitan Police.
It is the first of its kind in the country and Wish’s third most popular seller behind ‘Zombie Battle London’ and ‘Zombie Boot Camp’.
The advert on the company’s website states: “There is nothing more embarrassing than turning up to police a riot and realising you haven’t grasped basic etiquette.
“In this full throttle experience, the mysteries, intrigues and fundamental steps of basic riot control will be revealed.
“Who runs at who, good/bad things to wave about and which way up to hold your riot shield.”
It paints a vivid picture of what customers can expect on the day.
“All hell breaks loose - you’ll stand firm as you come under a barrage of debris, advancing forward as smoke swirls around your waist.
“Brace yourselves as petrol bombs are thrown. Noise, fire, smoke and fear are the main ingredients.”
Mr Luff said he had relayed concerns from residents to the West Mercia Police’s Chief Constable and questioned whether
the ‘experience’ was even legal.
“I can see why people would be outraged.
“It is not a good idea to teach people how to riot, nor is it sensible to teach people to understand police tactics.” said Mr Luff.
“Are they just harmless adrenaline days out which are on the extreme side but acceptable? Or are they, as I believe, a serious threat to public order?
“After last summer’s riots, we should certainly not being helping people to understand how to riot better - but that appears to be exactly what’s happening in Worcestershire right now.” he added.
A statement from Wish denied the company was inciting a riot or encouraging people to break the law and argued the experience was controlled at every stage by professionals.
A spokesman said: “We understand why people think it’s controversial.
“But if we can let people skydive, shoot guns or battle the undead - why not let them see what life is like behind the thin blue line too.”
He added Wish aimed to offer the most unusual experiences in the world but took safety very safely, employing Police and Military experts to run proceedings.
He said they were ‘highly selective’ about people allowed to take part and had the right to reserve bookings if necessary.
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