Cameron accused over riot policing

 

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The Independent Online

David Cameron was today accused of having "bugger all" to do with beefed-up policing during this summer's riots.

The Prime Minister abandoned a family holiday in Tuscany and flew to London as disturbances swept English cities last month.



Chairing emergency meetings in Downing Street, Mr Cameron suggested water cannons and even the Army could be deployed as police took a tougher line following criticism of their initial handling of the widespread looting and violence.



But, addressing the Labour conference today in Liverpool, Birmingham Erdington MP Jack Dromey criticised Mr Cameron for branding pockets of society sick and trying to claim credit for the police's switch to robust tactics.



Mr Dromey said: "I say this to Mr Cameron: Birmingham is not sick.



"What is sick is Tory politicians returning from sunny climes in Bermuda shorts seeking then to take the credit for the restoration of peace to our streets when they had bugger all to do with it.



"What is sick is crazy talk about baton rounds, water cannon and putting the Army on the streets."



Birmingham Erdington MP Mr Dromey went on to tell delegates that during the riots West Midlands Police hired 16 ex-police officers because the force was so stretched.



The 16 officers were, according to Mr Dromey, forced out of the constabulary by Government cuts and found work as security guards with private firm G4S.



Mr Dromey added: "When the riots hit Birmingham, the stretched West Midlands Police had to take back on those forced out and who were employed through G4S because they couldn't cope, costing the taxpayer much more."

PA