The home secretary has refused to allow the use of water cannon in England and Wales – a year after three of them were bought by the Metropolitan Police.
London Mayor Boris Johnson authorised the £218,000 purchase of three second-hand cannon from the German police.
But Theresa May said “without safeguards” water cannon had “the capacity to cause harm”.
She said she was concerned about the risk of injury, as well as their impact on public perceptions of the police.
Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper welcomed the decision.
Water cannon are used in Northern Ireland, but have never been deployed in the rest of the UK.
They were deployed most recently in north Belfast on Monday against Loyalist demonstrators during the annual Twelfth of July celebrations.
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