Riots in England:

David Cameron: The fightback is under way

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Prime Minister David Cameron declared a fightback against looters and rioters today as a community mourned the deaths of three men killed while trying to protect its shops and businesses.





Police forces across the country called in reinforcements tonight in an attempt to stop another night of the riots that have now claimed four lives.



As looting and mob violence spread from London to the North West and the Midlands three men - named as Haroon Jahan, 21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31 - were killed when a car was driven at them as they protected shops in Winson Green, Birmingham, at 1am, their families said.



Mr Cameron described the deaths as "truly dreadful". When asked what he would say to their families he said: "They have my deepest condolences. I think everyone in the country is going to be thinking about them and their families and what happened."



West Midlands Police have arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of murder.



The apparent hit-and-run killing follows the death of a 26-year-old man who was shot in a car during riots in Croydon, south London, on Monday night.



Politicians and police sought to return calm to the cities affected by the disorder by flooding the streets with officers.



Home Secretary Theresa May today ordered every police chief in the UK to cancel all staff leave to deal with the crisis.



Six forces - the Metropolitan Police, West Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Avon and Somerset, Greater Manchester and Gloucestershire - have drafted in extra officers from other constabularies amid fears of a fifth night of violence.



Speaking in Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee, Mr Cameron said: "We needed a fightback, and a fightback is under way.



"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."



He said officers would be given the resources and legal backing to use the tactics they felt were necessary to deal with the riots.



"Police are already authorised to use baton rounds and we agreed at Cobra that, while they are not currently needed, we now have in place contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours' notice," he said.



In a major break with the Government, the Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson today demanded a rethink of plans to slash police budgets by 20%.



The mayor, who is seeking re-election to City Hall next year, told the BBC: "That case was always pretty frail and it has been substantially weakened. This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers."



But Mr Cameron brushed off Mr Johnson's concerns, insisting forces had all the resources they required.



Thousands of extra police officers in London helped quell trouble on the capital's streets last night, but ugly scenes of violence spread to other cities.



Elsewhere, hundreds of marauding thugs played cat and mouse with police in Manchester last night, smashing shops, looting goods and setting fire to one premises.



This afternoon police arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of arson over the blaze in the city's Miss Selfridge store.



And two of those arrested have already been jailed in what Greater Manchester Police said was "swift justice".



"Two men sentenced to 10 weeks and 16 weeks. First of many," the force warned.



Trouble also broke out in Nottingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Gloucester, Bristol and Toxteth in Liverpool.



Despite the spreading violence, senior police officers played down the prospect of using water cannons against rioters.



Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, oversaw the use of the weapon when he was head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.



He said: "They were vital in Northern Ireland. At the moment I don't see a need in the rest of the United Kingdom."



Meanwhile, magistrates' courts sat through the night to deal with the huge numbers of people charged over the disturbances.



The youngest alleged rioter to appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court in north London today was an 11-year-old boy from Romford, Essex, who pleaded guilty to stealing a £50 waste bin from the town's Debenhams store during the disorder on Monday night.



Also in the dock today was a learning mentor at Stockwell primary school in south London, who admitted taking part in looting.



Alexis Bailey, 31, from Battersea, south London, who was arrested in a Richer Sounds electrical goods store in Croydon, south London, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal and was committed to Wood Green Crown Court for sentencing.



Lambeth Council, his employer, said in a statement: "In the event that any of our staff are convicted of criminal acts, we have robust internal processes in place to ensure that we deal with them in accordance with employment law."

PA

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little