Government considers 'thug' crackdown

The Government is considering a crackdown on hooligans who cause trouble at public protests in the wake of the "mindless violence" which marred a huge union-organised demonstration.

Home Secretary Theresa May raised the prospect of new powers to ban known hooligans from attending rallies and marches and forcing people to remove face-scarves and balaclavas.



The move came as controversy continued to rage over events in central London on Saturday, when up to 500,000 people staged a peaceful protest against Government spending cuts, which was hijacked by gangs of violent youths.



Ms May praised police, who came under attack during hours of violence in the West End, telling the Commons: "I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the mindless behaviour of the thugs responsible for the violence."



The minister said 149 out of 200 arrested had been charged and warned that the number will increase as officers study video evidence, as they did after last year's student protests.



"The message to those who carry out violence is clear - you will be caught and you will be punished. Just as the police review their operational tactics, so we in the Home Office will review the powers available to the police.



"I have asked the police whether they need further powers to prevent violence before it occurs. I am willing to consider powers which would ban known hooligans from rallies and marches and I will look into the powers the police already have to force the removal of face-coverings and balaclavas.



"If the police need more help to do their work, I will not hesitate in granting it to them."



Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Labour condemned the "few hundred mindless idiots" responsible for violence.



"In a democracy this kind of violence is no form of political protest," she told MPs. "It is violent assault and criminal damage, it is thuggish behaviour of the worst kind and it must face the full force of the law."



Police are considering using stop and search powers to prevent troublemakers disrupting next month's royal wedding, a senior commander confirmed today.



Metropolitan Police Commander Bob Broadhurst said officers would be taking action to prevent a repeat of the weekend's violence.



London mayor Boris Johnson was embroiled in a row with unions after suggesting that organisers of the TUC march should contribute towards the cost of clearing up the damage.



"Obviously there has been damage to property and it would be a wonderful thing, frankly, if the organisers of the march would contribute to the costs of clearing it up."



Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "Boris Johnson is right to say that the violence on Saturday had nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters on the TUC march.



"It is therefore ridiculous to suggest that the TUC should pay towards the clean-up operation. Will he ask the Queen and Prince Philip to chip in if there is violence on the royal wedding day?"



TUC official Nigel Stanley said: "It is disappointing that the mayor can't tell the difference between the near half-million peaceful TUC demonstrators and the tiny number of trouble-makers for whom we have no responsibility."



The mayor added that police will use "all reasonable means" to prevent similar scenes at the royal wedding next month, adding: "I just want to make it clear that it is absolutely incomprehensible if people were to seek to destruct the royal wedding. I think people really wouldn't forgive or understand that kind of behaviour.



"We are looking at all the intelligence we are getting and will be talking to the police over the next few days to see what's coming in, and I can assure people that the police are prepared to use all reasonable means to make sure that the royal wedding goes off brilliantly well and we don't see that kind of bad behaviour."



Labour demanded that Mr Johnson retract a claim that its leader Ed Miliband was "satisfied" by the scenes of violence surrounding the march.



Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson criticised the Labour leader for failing to spell out in his speech to demonstrators what cuts he would impose if he were prime minister.



The Home Secretary said that "on the whole" the police operation was a success, adding that 56 officers were injured, 12 of whom needed hospital treatment, while 53 members of the public were hurt.



Ms May said the cost of the damage to shops and banks in Oxford Street and Piccadilly would be "significant" and revealed to MPs she was looking into the operation of the 1866 Riot Act in relation to making those responsible pay for the clean-up.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

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
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it