Looting leaves taxpayers with £140m bill for extra policing

Scotland Yard has admitted the force was caught completely unawares by the extent of the violence

The riots that broke out in London and other cities last month will leave the taxpayer with a bill of £140m from the cost of extra policing and compensating businesses, police chiefs disclosed yesterday.

The acting head of Scotland Yard also admitted that the force had been caught completely unawares by the extent of the violence and admitted he wished he had deployed more officers on the capital's streets earlier.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and senior police officers recalled the scale of the unrest in evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, which is investigating the worst riots to hit England for three decades.

They started in Tottenham, north London, following the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, and spread within days to 22 boroughs as well as the West Midlands and North-west. The MPs were told the extra policing costs were estimated at £74m for London and £50m for the rest of the country.

Businesses targeted by the looters in London have applied for compensation totalling £9.3m under the Riot Damages Act. The figure could double when shops in other parts of the country are included. Tim Godwin, the acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner, acknowledged he wished he had had more officers on duty when gangs of looters hit several shopping centres virtually unchallenged. He admitted that his force simply ran out of officers, saying: "Sometimes you suddenly realise how thin the blue line is."

Mr Godwin hinted at moves to increase the 2,500 officers in London trained to deal with serious public disturbances. He said: "I think the issue of 'where are all the cops?' is an issue we're going to be confronting in the next 12 months, in terms of maximising our footprint and getting those numbers out there."

Mr Godwin accepted his force could also have done more to track messages between rioters on social-networking sites. He also said it had failed to stay in contact with Mr Duggan's family after his death.

Mr Johnson suggested that, in an effort to ease the pressure on the force, officers currently on long-term sick leave could be drafted into back-office jobs to enable warranted officers to be on the front line. He and Mr Godwin supported an earlier warning from the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, that the unrest demonstrated that the country's penal system was "broken". He revealed that almost three-quarters of the adults charged with rioting had previous convictions.

*The Mayor announced that the replacement for Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned in July, will be named on Monday after a final round of interviews. The candidates include: Mr Godwin; Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers; Stephen House, the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police; Bernard Hogan-Howe, former Chief Constable of Merseyside.

Riots in brief

A teenage judo star was detained for eight months yesterday after taking part in looting during last month's riots, court officials said.

Anthony Lloyd, 17, was found by police with his pockets "bulging" with stolen cigarettes and jewellery during disturbances in Manchester, the city's youth court heard.

Lloyd of Hanover Street South, Audenshaw, Greater Manchester, had pleaded guilty to burglary of a non-dwelling property and handling stolen goods. He was sentenced to eight months' detention and training for each count, to serve concurrently, a spokesman for the court said.

At an earlier hearing, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe heard Lloyd was stopped by police at 9.30pm at the height of the disorder which struck the city on 9 August.

Kathryn Eccles, for the prosecution, said officers noticed his pockets "bulging" and ordered a search, which recovered £66 worth of cigarettes and a quantity of jewellery.

Lloyd, whose social worker father and mother, a nurse, supported him in court, admitted he had taken the cigarettes from a newsagent.

Miss Eccles added he found the jewellery on the ground where it was left after being looted by somebody else.

Estelle Parkhouse, defending, said Lloyd was part of the British Judo team and was returning from training that Tuesday night when he heard about the disorder.

The solicitor added that the defendant had overcome some emotional difficulties and dyslexia but was studying for a sports science diploma at Manchester College.

"Here we have a man who is from a good family and has never been before the courts before," Miss Parkhouse said.

"He had finished training that night and ventured into the city centre out of curiosity.

"He took the jewellery that he had seen on the street, he knew it had been stolen and it was his intention to give it to his girlfriend."

A spokesman for the British Judo Association confirmed Lloyd is a member of the organisation but said that although the youth had taken part in some domestic competitions, he was never successful enough to be selected to represent his country.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
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
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
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
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

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
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform