David Cameron: The fightback is under way - Crime - UK - The Independent

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
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week