News / Europe

Britain Announces New Measures to Restore Order

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London, to attend Parliament, August 11, 2011
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London, to attend Parliament, August 11, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced new measures to restore order to Britain's streets and prevent the riots that have gripped the country for much of the past week from erupting again.

Speaking at an emergency session of parliament Thursday, Mr. Cameron told lawmakers authorities are considering ordering youths to remove masks and temporarily disabling social networking websites that rioters have used to coordinate their activity.  He said he would keep a higher police presence of 16,000 police officers in London through the coming days and consider calling in the army to help.

The prime minister said the rioting is not about politics or protest, but the result of a culture that "glorifies violence."  He blamed street gangs for helping to spark the riots and said he would seek advice from U.S. cities such as Boston, Los Angeles and New York that had fought gangs.   

Mr. Cameron said Britain "will not allow a culture of fear to exist on its streets," warning looters that they will be tracked down and prosecuted.  He reiterated that police had already been authorized to use water cannon, batons and plastic bullets if necessary.

Mr. Cameron and lawmakers cut short their summer vacations to deal with the crisis, which saw its first calm night Wednesday after four straight nights of rioting, looting and arson.  Police and witnesses reported just minor incidents as thousands of riot police filled the streets of London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Earlier Thursday, police began raiding houses in London in connection with the riots.  Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh said more than 100 arrest warrants will be served in the "coming hours and days."

British courts are struggling to deal with a massive backlog of cases from the unrest.  Police already have arrested more than 1,200 people since the riots began on Saturday.  The violence was originally touched off by the fatal police shooting last week of a 29-year-old man in London's economically depressed Tottenham neighborhood.  

Mr. Cameron has faced criticism in connection with his plan to reduce the police budget by 20 percent.  On Wednesday, London Mayor Boris Johnson criticized the proposed cuts, saying the riots do not allow for "substantial cuts" in police numbers.  Mr. Cameron previously said the cuts will not "reduce the amount of visible policing."

Hundreds of youths - many saying they are sick of unemployment and cuts in government help - have burned buildings and cars, looted stores, smashed windows, and attacked police.  Many of the riot victims are small business owners who say they have taken up weapons to protect their property.

Birmingham police opened a murder investigation Wednesday when a car ran over and killed three men, apparently while they tried to protect their neighborhood from looters.  Police have a suspect in custody.  

The only other fatality of the riots was a man who died Wednesday of gunshot wounds in south London in Croydon district.  Hundreds of people have been injured in the unrest, mostly police officers.

The violence has raised questions about security as London prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games.  A Wednesday match between England and the Netherlands at London's Wembley stadium was canceled.

You May Like

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid