British troops are being trained in riot control tactics amid fears that violence and looting will return to Britain's streets this summer.
Defence sources have confirmed that if violence were to return to British cities, especially during the Olympic Games, the Paras would be "ideally placed" to provide "short-term" support to police forces around the UK.
Such a request would have to be made by the Home Office and would have to have Prime Ministerial approval, according to the source.
During the exercises at the Lydd training base in Kent, the elite troops were pelted with petrol bombs and missiles and "fought" running battles with gangs of protesters as part of the battalion's "public order training".
The battalion is the lead unit in the Airborne Task Force - the Army's premier rapid response unit and can be called on to deal with a wide range of emergency situations - from hostage rescue to riot control - around the world.