England riots: Fightback under way, says PM

 

Police try to tackle masked youths in Manchester

The prime minister has said the "fightback" is under way, after cities in England suffered a fourth night of violence and looting.

David Cameron said every action would be taken to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannon to be available at 24 hours' notice.

On Tuesday night, unrest spread to cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Three men protecting property died when they were hit by a car in Birmingham.

Haroon Jahan, 21, Shahzad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, who were from the Asian Muslim community, were taken to hospital but died from their injuries.

Mr Cameron said the deaths were "truly dreadful" and offered his condolences to the men's families.

Haroon Jahan, Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir Haroon Jahan, Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir were protecting property, residents say

A candle-lit vigil, attended by some 200 people, took place in Birmingham for the men. The BBC's Jeremy Cooke said it was entirely peaceful.

Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood had appealed for calm, telling a community meeting it was important people did not take matters into their own hands.

Meanwhile, rioters in Manchester and Salford have been told that they face being evicted from their council homes if they are identified on CCTV footage.

Both city councils have issued warnings that if any of their tenants or their children have been involved in violence or looting they will be "thrown out".

Greenwich Council also says it will be seeking the eviction of any council tenants if they are found to have been engaged in criminal activities.

Map of riots across England

Earlier, the prime minister said police had the legal backing to use any tactics necessary to bring the rioting across England under control, including using baton rounds.

Speaking after a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee, he said: "This continued violence is simply not acceptable, and it will be stopped.

"We will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets."

But Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) president Sir Hugh Orde ruled out using water cannon or baton rounds for now, saying the tactics were not suited to the current unrest.

"Water cannon are used to deal with fixed crowds to buy distance," he said.

"The evidence... is showing very clearly these are fast-moving crowds, where water cannon would not be appropriate."

He added that baton rounds would only be deployed when his officers' lives were under serious threat.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Theresa May told the BBC she had ordered all police forces in England and Wales to mobilise special constables, cancel leave and adopt a "tough, robust approach".

Six forces have requested assistance for Wednesday evening, according to Acpo, which is co-ordinating resources in England and Wales.

They are Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester Police, the Metropolitan Police, Nottinghamshire, and West Midlands.

Analysis

Sitting in the dock in a blue tracksuit top, the 11-year-old boy was barely big enough to see over the wooden ledge into the main body of the courtroom.

But, according to the prosecution, the child had been among the hundreds arrested in connection with the rioting in London over the past few nights.

He was the youngest to appear at Highbury on Wednesday, and admitted taking a wastepaper basket from a branch of Debenhams in Romford, which was looted by rioters.

Others brought before magistrates included a man who works in a primary school, a student and a convicted drug dealer. Nearly all will be sentenced at crown courts which have the powers to impose tougher penalties.

The 11-year-old is due at a youth court at the end of the month. Despite his tender age, he spent last night in a police cell. He's been told to observe a curfew between 18:00 and 06:00 until his fate is decided.

Earlier, Mr Cameron said: "We have seen the worst of Britain, but I also believe we have seen some of the best of Britain - the million people who have signed up on Facebook to support the police, coming together in the clean-up operations.

"There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but are frankly sick.

"It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to feel the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities and their actions do not have consequences. Well, they do have consequences."

The Met Police has made 820 arrests and charged 279 people in connection with violence in the capital.

In London, three courts will stay open all night on Wednesday to deal with some of the scores of people facing mainly disorder and burglary charges after four nights of rioting.

In other developments:

Mr Cameron said anyone convicted of violent disorder would be sent to prison.

London mayor Boris Johnson urged the government to reconsider its "pretty frail" plans to cut police numbers, saying the argument had been "substantially weakened" by the riots.

And Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said agreed, adding the plans needed to be reconsidered.

"It is staggering and utterly shameful if it has taken these appalling events for ministers to start waking up to what everyone else has known all along," she said.

"Cutting 16,000 officers - the equivalent of every officer on the streets of London last night - at a time like this is deeply irresponsible."

But the Home Office said the reductions in the police budget were manageable.

At a press conference, Greater Manchester Police's Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said he had seen "the most sickening scenes" of his career, and said the force had been overwhelmed.

Forces requesting help on Wed night

  • Avon and Somerset
  • Gloucestershire
  • Greater Manchester Police
  • Metropolitan Police
  • Nottinghamshire
  • West Midlands

Source: Acpo

Some 113 people have been arrested so far over the trouble in Manchester and Salford, where hundreds of youths looted shops and set fire to cars and buildings.

He said the force was "absolutely intent" on bringing the rioters to justice and his officers were already studying CCTV.

"Hundreds and hundreds of people, we have your image, we have your face, we have your acts of wanton criminality on film. We are coming for you, from today and no matter how long it takes, we will arrest those people responsible," he said.

In the West Midlands, 163 people had been arrested by Wednesday morning, and police chiefs say at the height of the disorder it was at a rate of about one person per minute.

Chief Constable Chris Sims said it was "another very difficult night" in Birmingham and across the region, with gangs of up to 40 people and "limited disorder" in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

The riots first flared on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, by police.

 

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England riots

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1251.

    1129.ykevin

    From a Scottish perspective we would not have let this happen. The good people of England stood back and watched. If this was Happening in a Scottish city we would not have stood back and filmed on our smart phones. It would not have taken long for an equally large group of people with guts and courage enough to confront these thugs and to stick up for our own communities.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1250.

    @1004.petujaymz
    1 Hour ago
    Any link made to the cuts is a nonsense. These people couldn't care less about their local community centre closing,..

    The cuts link is about the effect on the police’s manpower, ability and overall morale. If you were getting a sub inflation payrise would you risk getting your head smashed in? We have a covenant with the police just as much as the Army.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1249.

    The fightback is underway? We lost the fight quite some time ago. I work in a professional job and earn a reasonable wage. I'll pay my taxes and I'll stay law abiding. However, I have lost all interest in this country. Frankly, I disagree with the direction we are heading and feel...scared to say what I really feel about society. No doubt we'll be paying a bit more tax to sort this mess out.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1248.

    @1114.Mr Max

    What you say is true to a certain extent, however before Thatcher we did not have a large unemployed underclass, which nothing has been done about since it was created, by any political party.

    Idle hands do the devils work, Government has to take responsibility & invest in it's own people, stop wasting money on excursions like Iraq & Libya, pay people to rebuild our infrastructure.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1247.

    These British terrorist needs to be dealt harshly , they have terrorized a peaceful nation ...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1246.

    1159Marcopuffin
    @702Ian-Just punishing those concerned and ignoring the root of the problem would be wrong.Would any one of us have acted so differently given their set of circumstances and which ones of us are looking to buy a new 3D TV at a bargain price?"
    -
    Ian - the key word here is "buy" - this can be used in conjunction with "work" and "earn".
    -
    First you have to find work :-(

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1245.

    We need laws to kick the one's in social housing out of their homes.The one's in private housing stop any state funding. Home owners who are arrested should be made to pay and that should mean if need be selling their home. We have to stop what they think is their right to have housing free money and stuff. So many people need housing and would try to give something back.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1244.

    @gee17

    "yet the violence in these places does not seem to subside or act as a deterrrent."

    That's because they make the stupid mistake of letting them out again. Throw away the key and you'll find that 100% of prisoners do not go on to re-offend.

    The feral families and their feral offspring need to be permanently warehoused and caged for all our protection.




  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1243.

    I have followed these riots closely, and like the vast majority of people in this country it sickens me to the core, caught rioters should be named and shamed within their communities, and made to work to correct the damage they have caused (unpaid) and not bailed to go out again, all this seams to be is Robbery on a grand scale,bring on the rubber bullets and water cannon AND USE THEM

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1242.

    RIP Broken Britain.. You went soft on discipline!.. You went soft on immigration!You went soft on crime.. Parents were told.. 'No you can't smack the kids'....Teachers were prevented from chastising kids in schools.. The police couldn't clip a troublemaker round the ear.. Kids had rights blah blah blah.. Well done Britain..You shall reap what you sow...Tougher powers must be put in place!

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 1241.

    Why is it that you never hear of the Chinese the Turkish the Polish or the myriad of other imported cultures rioting ?, it's always the same section of society that kicks off, moaning about how hard done by they are. I'm not saying there aren't issues but perhaps the biggest issue is their attitude !

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 1240.

    @1150. sickofbeingduped
    Its just kids being kids, and the media building it up into a frenzy.

    how are the media building this up, have you not seen the footage and pictures of what is going on? As for kids being kids, if you think this is normal behaviour then I pity your off spring!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1239.

    I'm immensely proud of Manchester, especially today. It doesn't belong to rioters. It belongs to us.

    It's home to Anthony Burgess, Morrissey, Bernard Cribbins, Brian Cox and Karl Pilkington.

    Home of the industrial revolution, the first inter-city railway, computer, atom-splitter and free public library.

    Home of our nation's musical, gay, civic and sporting pride.

    It’s a jewel in the rain.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 1238.

    Well I've decided to give up my job and stop paying taxes, after all if I need a 42" plasma TV all I need to do is pop down to Curry's with a few friends at midnight and help myself. Even better the police will look on and protect my Human Rights at the same time.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1237.

    People who are too lazy to work get paid to have kids, so you can only presume that they would be too lazy to look after the kids. For each extra child they have, they get a big hand out, so therefore they never worry about whether to stop having kids.
    Simple maths says that if people with bad morals get paid to have loads of kids that they can't be bothered to supervise, we're in trouble!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1236.

    ykevin

    32 Minutes ago

    why is it only in England what is Scotland, wales and northern Ireland doing right someone tell me

    Come back on Monday and we'll see.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1235.

    I honestly believe this problem has been festering for many years, the bleeding heart liberals who believed that discipline was a no no, that all trouble was caused by an under priveledged background, that courts should just slap offenders wrists and turn them loose to offend again.
    Well they have sown the seeds and now are reaping the harvest, we now have feral youths with no fear of Authority.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 1234.

    It annoys me when I hear people defend these scum because they have been let down by society. What total rubbish. They started life having access to free education, free healthcare, free social support. Go to India, Syria, South Africa. If you are impoverished, ill or disabled you're left on the street to beg or die because there is no such support available.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 1233.

    policing STRATEGY (NOT the brave police themselves) lacking ingenuity..coloured dye from water-cannon would stop a lot of them if they had to go home and explain. and what's wrong with plastic bullets - it's quite simple - they arent scared if the response is weak so we need to do something to worry them, the cowardly toe-rags who hide behind their naff chavvy hoodies pretending to be tough.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1232.

    "1084.Random_views

    Has anyone thought about banning hoods and baseball caps after dark? I would say that 90% of these idiots were wearing them to hide their identity."

    ----

    What a fantastic idea. It'll work in the same way that banning looting stopped *that* from happening, won't it.

 

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