Police presence to be maintained

The high numbers of police officers on the streets will be "sustained" until further notice, the Home Secretary said today.

The number of officers patrolling the streets of London has almost trebled to 16,000 since last weekend to help tackle the violence.



Theresa May said that, despite the UK having had a trouble-free few nights, numbers would remain high.



Speaking during a visit to Enfield, north London, which was hit by rioters on Monday night, she said: "We will be sustaining the numbers for a period of time.



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



"The police will maintain their tough arrest policy, their presence on the streets."



She said officers would be brought in from areas not affected by the riots to help maintain levels if necessary.



She met police and fire officers as she visited the Sony Distribution Centre in Enfield, which was destroyed by a blaze, believed to have been caused by looters.



Five people arrested in connection with the arson attack on the centre have been bailed, Scotland Yard said.



Leading companies such as XL and Domino - which are behind acts including Adele and Arctic Monkeys - are among those which used the destroyed distribution hub.



Mrs May said: "It is only by coming here and seeing the extent of the devastation that one can understand what was going on on the streets and the degree of criminality.



"What is key to us is that the police presence is there now, we are seeing arrests being made, and people being taken through the criminal justice system.



"The police will go after them (the criminals) relentlessly. If they were involved in this, the police will find them and they will be brought to justice."



During the visit, the Home Secretary paid tribute to police and fire officers who have helped tackle the riots across the country.



She said: "What I accept is that the people who got the riots under control were the brave policemen and women out there on the front line dealing with the riots as they were happening.



"I want to pay tribute, not just to our brave police officers but to the firefighters, who were also doing a fantastic job."









Nick de Bois, Conservative MP for Enfield North, agreed with the Home Secretary that high police numbers need to be maintained.

He said: "We need to keep a robust policing presence going, that's absolutely critical.



"I have met a lot of the police officers here and they have been working very, very hard.



"We need to keep the levels that we have got across London certainly beyond the weekend."



Mr de Bois said he witnessed the riots that broke out in Enfield town centre on Monday night.



He said: "I came down at 6pm before the riots started and I witnessed everything.



"I am absolutely convinced that two-thirds of them came from outside the borough. They were here to profit and to take on the police.



"They were criminals, they need to get the toughest sentences."



Smoke still billows from the remains of the Sony Distribution Centre and fire fighters continue to use water jets on the wreckage. Mr de Bois said: "What has happened here, at Sony, is devastating.



"But it's not just about the property, it's about over 200 people who work here. They are now worrying about their future.



"I want to get the Government with the council right behind ensuring Sony stay here to protect the jobs of people who work here."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'