Friday, 12 August 2011

Action on masks, curfews and social media being considered - Main Section - Yorkshire Post

Action on masks, curfews and social media being considered

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David Cameron addresses MPs on measures to address gang culture and do whatever it takes to regain control of streets.

Police will get the right to force suspected criminals to remove masks while stricter curfews and tighter controls on social media are being considered, the Prime Minister revealed as he pledged to do “whatever it takes” to restore order.

David Cameron also announced new measures to tackle gang culture and indicated that Ministers would look at whether the Army could take on some police tasks to free up more front-line officers.

Addressing a recalled House of Commons, he said he did not want to break away from the traditional “British model” of policing by putting troops on the streets, but that Ministers would keep an open mind on how the Army could help.

“Nothing should be off the table,” he said. “Every contingency is being looked at.”

Mr Cameron promised that the “lawless minority” responsible for the trouble would be tracked down, charged and punished, telling MPs that anyone convicted of rioting should go to jail.

Gang injunctions, covering both adults and children, would be extended across the country, he said, and the Government would ask former New York and Los Angeles police commissioner Bill Bratton for advice following successful anti-gang programmes in the US.

Mr Cameron announced a £20m scheme to support affected businesses and a £10m recovery fund to help councils pay for costly clear-up work.

He said court sentencing powers would be kept under constant review and extra money would be given to police authorities to meet compensation claims under the Riot Damages Act.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said there could be “no excuses, no justification” for the violence of recent days and urged the Government to reconsider its planned cuts to police budgets.

“Given the absolute priority the public attaches to a visible and active police presence, does the Prime Minister understand why they would think it is not right that he goes ahead with the cuts to police numbers?” he asked.

Mr Cameron insisted the cuts were “totally achievable” without any reduction in the visible policing presence on the streets.

“At the end of this process of making sure our police budgets are affordable, we will still be able to surge as many police on to the streets as we have in recent days in London, in Wolverhampton, in Manchester,”

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