Riots were about theft, not politics: British PM
The riots which tore through London and other major English cities for four days had nothing to do with politics or protest but were motivated by theft, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday.
The rioting was "not about politics or protest, it is about theft", Cameron told parliament after lawmakers were recalled from their summer recess to debate the worst looting and violence for decades.
Cameron said he would "not allow a climate of fear to exist on our streets".
He admitted there were "far too few" police officers deployed as the riots reached a peak on Monday night and the tactics they had used had failed to work.
The prime minister, who returned early from holiday in Italy to deal with the riots, announced a package of measures to help homeowners and businesses affected by the riots.
Massively increased police numbers and heavy rain in many parts of the country led to a quiet night overnight Wednesday, leaving Britain to start to count the cost of the violence.
Four people have died in the riots, including three Asian men mowed down by a car in Birmingham in central England.
© 2011 AFP