PM vows to bring order to streets
David Cameron has vowed to do "whatever it takes" to restore order to the streets after four days of looting and rioting brought chaos and destruction to English towns and cities.
Addressing an emergency session of the House of Commons the Prime Minister promised the Government would pay to compensate the victims of the disorder while retaining a reinforced police presence in London.
In a wide-ranging statement he said ministers were keeping the sentencing powers of the courts under "constant review" and pledged to tackle the gang culture which he said lay behind much of the violence as a "national priority".
He said officials were also considering whether they could stop people plotting disorder via social media websites and he opened up the prospect the Army could take on some policing tasks to free up more officers for the front line.
However, during a two hour 45 minute session answering MPs' questions, he fended off repeated Labour demands to rethink planned cuts to police budgets, insisting that they would not affect the numbers of officers on the streets.
Addressing a sombre House following the first night of relative peace across the country since the riots erupted in Tottenham, north London, on Saturday night, Mr Cameron said the whole country had been "shocked" by what had happened.
"It is criminality pure and simple. And there is absolutely no excuse for it," he said. "We will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets. And we will do whatever it takes to restore law and order and rebuild our communities."
With the total number of arrests across the country now exceeding 1,200, the Prime Minister pledged the perpetrators of the violence would be tracked down, charged, and punished. In a clear message to the courts - after police said they were "disappointed" at some of the sentences being handed down - he said anyone charged with rioting should be remanded in custody and anyone convicted should expect to go to jail.
Scotland Yard said the number of London arrests had risen to 1,009, with 464 charged. Greater Manchester Police said they had so far made 147 arrests in connection with the riots and more than 70 people had already gone through the courts. Merseyside Police said they had made 77 arrests and charged 45 people.
West Midlands Police said 389 people had been arrested and Nottinghamshire Police said they had arrested 109 people and charged 69.