News / Europe

British PM Seeks Gang Violence Solutions in US

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (r) visits a looted Liddell supermarket in Salford, England, Aug. 12, 2011
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (r) visits a looted Liddell supermarket in Salford, England, Aug. 12, 2011

Britain's prime minister says he will look to the United States for solutions to gang violence, following almost a week of riots that erupted in London and other cities across Britain.

David Cameron said Thursday he would seek advice from U.S. cities that have fought gangs, including Boston, Los Angeles and New York.   

Cameron told an emergency session of parliament authorities are considering disabling social networking websites that rioters used to coordinate their activity.  

He said he would give police extra powers, including the ability to order youths to remove masks, to prevent street violence.

Police response criticized

The prime minister was initially critical of the police response to the riots, but has since acknowledged that police had been overwhelmed by the groups of looters in the first nights of rioting.  

Prime Minister Cameron said he would keep a higher police presence of 16,000 police officers in London through the coming days and would consider calling in the army to help.

British police said early Friday a 68-year-old man who was attacked during the riots has become the fifth fatality of the unrest.

What sparked violence

The violence was originally touched off by the fatal shooting last week of a 29-year-old man in London's economically depressed Tottenham neighborhood.

British courts are struggling to deal with a massive backlog of cases from the riots.  Police have arrested more than 1,200 people since the riots began on Saturday.  

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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