Britain will do everything necessary to combat riots: PM

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The British government will do "everything necessary" to restore order after the country's worst riots for decades, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday.

Cameron said parliament will be recalled from its summer recess on Thursday to discuss the violence.

"People should be in no doubt that we will do eveything necessary to restore order to the streets and to make them safe for the law abiding," Cameron said, condemning the "sickening scenes" caused by the rioters.

The prime minister said the violence, which spread through the capital on Monday night, was "criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated."

"These are sickening scenes, scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing, scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews while they are trying to put out fires."

He told reporters: "Parliament will be recalled for a day on Thursday so I can make a statement to parliament and we can hold a debate, and we are all able to stand together in condemnation of these crimes and also to stand together in determination to rebuild these communities."

The prime minister cut short his family holiday in Italy to return to London in the early hours of Tuesday to deal with the chaos and chair a meeting of the COBRA national emergency committee.

He said police numbers in London would be boosted from 6,000 to 16,000 on Tuesday night.

"People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to the streets and to make them safe for the law abiding," he added.

Riots have erupted across London for three consecutive nights and the violence has spread to the English cities of Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. Residents were organising clean-up operations on Tuesday.

More than 450 people have been arrested in London over the three nights of violence, Home Secretary Theresa May said.


© 2011 AFP

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