Have the British police abandoned their commitment to `policing by consent'? The sight of armed and riot police on the streets has led to this question being asked repeatedly over the past decade. However, the secrecy that has surrounded the policy governing armed and public order policinghas previously made this a topic of arid speculation rather than informed debate. During his three years' extensive research into the Metropolitan Police, P. A. J. Waddington was given unprecedented access to the hitherto secret world of armed and riot policing. Here he provides a detailed description of police policy, tactics, and weaponry, examining such issues as theselection and training of armed officers, the lethality of police firearms tactics, the growth of paramilitarism, methods of dispersing rioting crowds, and the causes of riots. Dr Waddington's study of the difficulties and dilemmas that arise from the need to ensure effective public order policingwhile retaining public consent throws new light, from a uniquely informed perspective, on the issues that have aroused public anxiety.