PM meets victims of Tottenham riots
Published 16/08/2011 | 09:42
Prime Minister David Cameron has visited riot-hit Tottenham to talk to people affected by the disturbances which sparked violence around the country.
He toured a leisure centre being used to provide food and clothing for up to 200 people made homeless by the fires which swept the area, and went to the fire station to discuss challenges the emergency services had faced and any lessons that could be learned.
He was also holding private talks with people whose homes had been destroyed.
Mr Cameron told local emergency services chiefs gathered at the fire station: "I wanted to hear first-hand about some of the things you experienced, and some of the things we need to learn from it.
"It was an incredibly challenging situation, perhaps particularly here in Tottenham. I've been all over the country hearing about what happened, but this is where things started. It was complicated and made difficult by the tragic killing of Mark Duggan - it's been a difficult situation."
He went on: "There is a major effort at rebuilding going on. I've been to the leisure centre, and seen the community come together with great co-ordination. We can rebuild all over again."
The Government is to establish an independent panel to give victims of the riots a chance to "have their voice heard", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.
Mr Clegg told a Whitehall news conference that the communities and victims panel, chaired by an independent figure, would produce a report within six to nine months to be presented to the leaders of all three main political parties.
"It won't be a public inquiry, it won't be established under the Inquiries Act, but it will serve as a way in which victims and communities can have their voice heard," he said.
The number of people arrested in connection with the disorder in London has reached 1,685, and 985 people have been charged, Scotland Yard said. A total of 237 officers have been injured.