London on lockdown

2011-08-13 07:50

kalahari.com

London - Police were out in force in London on Saturday in a bid to prevent any repeat of England's worst riots in decades, which left city neighbourhoods smouldering and five people dead.

The number of officers was more than doubled to 16 000 earlier this week, and Home Secretary Theresa May said the extra police numbers would stay on the beat until further notice amid concerns violence could flare up this weekend.

England has had three quieter days following four nights of rioting, arson and looting which led to 1 600 arrests across the country, but politicians and police were taking no chances, even as they clashed on each other's response to the crisis.

"We will be sustaining the numbers for a period of time," May said.

"We have had some quieter nights but we are not complacent about that."

Courts working through the night

The orgy of violence started in London but the trouble soon spread to other major cities, including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham.

London's Metropolitan Police said they arrested 1 144 people, of whom 693 have been charged.
In total across England, 796 people have appeared in court, of whom 122 were under 18.

Courts have been working through the night and two-thirds of those charged have been remanded in custody.

Calls for those convicted to be stripped of their state welfare handouts and booted out of publicly-owned housing were receiving growing popular support.

The Wandsworth Council local authority in south London became the first to serve an eviction notice, on a tenant whose son has been charged. It will come into effect if he is convicted.

"For too long we've taken a too soft attitude towards people that loot and pillage their own community," Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC television.

"If you do that you should lose your right to the sort of housing that you've had at subsidised rates."

How did it get to this?

A week on from the initial flare-up of urban violence, debate is raging about how Britain has sunk to such lawlessness.

A Polish woman who was pictured leaping to safety from her burning home in the south London suburb of Croydon on Monday in one of the most striking images from the rioting, said she thought English society was "sick".

Shop assistant Monika Konczyk, 32, moved to Britain five months ago.

"I thought London was a civilised society full of gentlemen and ladies - but it's not like that. England has become a sick society," she told The Sun newspaper.

"I found myself jumping for my life after being attacked by thugs and thieves. They set fire to my building without any thought for anyone's safety.

"They were happy for me to die. They were like animals - greedy, selfish animals who thought only of themselves.

"Flames were coming up over my head. The fire was so hot I knew if I got too close it would kill me. I thought I was going to die - I thought I had lost my life."

Who’s to blame?

As fears of renewed violence remained high, a row escalated between police and politicians as both sides sought to deflect blame for the crisis.

The police have been criticised for their reluctance to crack down hard on the first riot in the north London district of Tottenham last Saturday. Critics say the cautious approach encouraged unrest to spread across the capital and then to other English cities.

But senior officers hit back in rare public attacks on political leaders, who last year introduced funding cuts to police forces across Britain as part of a wider package of austerity measures.

An online ComRes poll of 2 008 adults for The Independent newspaper, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, showed strong backing for the reversal of government cuts to police budgets (71%) and for automatic jail sentences for even the most minor of riot-related offences (78%).

Some 54% agreed that Cameron had failed to provide the necessary leadership to take control of the rioting in London early enough.

Downing Street said Cameron has asked former New York police commissioner Bill Bratton to act as a consultant to British police on how to curb street violence, drawing on his experience tackling gangs.

The English Premier League football season kicks off on Saturday, though Tottenham Hotspur's match against visitors Everton has been postponed as the local area will not be ready in time to ensure safe conditions.

- SAPA

Read more on:    david cameron  |  uk  |  uk riots
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
40 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.