Police condemn move for 'supercop'
Rank and file police officers are "angry" at the Prime Minister's decision to contact US "supercop" Bill Bratton, a Police Federation official has said.
Ian Hanson, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, urged Mr Cameron to listen to those who "live and police the communities affected" rather than "someone who lives 5,000 miles away".
Mr Bratton, a former New York police commissioner who is to advise the Government in the wake of rioting across England, believes crime-fighting solutions that have worked in America can also work in the UK.
But Mr Hanson, whose force tackled hundreds of rioters in Manchester city centre and Salford on Tuesday night, told ITV news it is "absolutely incredible" that the Prime Minister had asked for the American's advice.
"What we've witnessed this week has been British policing at its absolute best," Mr Hanson said. "There is anger, there is disappointment, a degree of incredulity as well. We're local people who live in the communities, who work in the communities and police them. He needs to speak to us, not someone who lives 5,000 miles away."
Mr Hanson said there were not enough police officers at the start of this week's riots because the Government has cut police numbers. He added: "One thing that Bill Bratton did when he took over in New York in 1994, was he increased the establishment of New York City police by 5,000 officers. How an earth are we going to replicate that with cuts approaching 30,000 police officers?"
Reacting to the riots, Mr Bratton said British police needed to focus on calming racial tensions by working more with community leaders and civil rights groups. He also said employing more minority police officers could be a potential long-term solution to stopping any future disorder.
There was a stinging criticism of the recruitment of Mr Bratton from the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers Sir Hugh Orde. He said the UK had no lessons to learn from gang-ridden America and indicated that he had opposed the move in talks with the Home Secretary.
In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, he said: "I am not sure I want to learn about gangs from an area of America that has 400 of them. It seems to me, if you've got 400 gangs, then you're not being very effective. If you look at the style of policing in the States, and their levels of violence, they are fundamentally different from here.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister said he wanted to press home the use of the sort of "zero tolerance" policies implemented by Mr Bratton in the US. That could combine the prosecution by the police of even low-level crimes and the rapid repair of vandalised property in a bid to deter others from inflicting further damage.