PM Pledges 'Zero Tolerance' After Riots

David Cameron has said it is time for a "zero tolerance" approach to street crime after Britain experienced its worst rioting for decades.

The Prime Minister's comments, made in The Sunday Telegraph, follow the appointment of a former New York police chief as a government advisor on gang violence.

Mr Cameron told the newspaper he will announce a series of tough measures to reclaim the streets, which have remained calm across the country this weekend.

"We haven't talked the language of zero tolerance enough but the message is getting through," he said.

"Look how quickly local councils got in there and swept up the glass and actually made sure things were mended and looked better.

"They all know from their own experience that if you leave the broken window, the shop gets looted again. If you leave the bus shelter with graffiti all over it, it gets trashed even further."

The PM's decision to draft in US "supercop" Bill Bratton has angered the UK's top police chiefs who have insisted they are better placed to offer guidance.

President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde 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."

Meanwhile Scotland Yard's Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin has estimated that more than 3,000 rioters will face punishment in London following the violence across the capital last week.

Mr Godwin praised both the public for tipping police off about neighbours they believed had looted and parents who have shopped their own children.

He added: "The chances of getting caught are extremely strong, we have superb CCTV coverage. We have also got 600-plus crime scenes."

He said officers would "exhaust all opportunities" to catch offenders.

On Saturday a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson at the Reeves Furniture store in Croydon on Monday.

And a fifth man has been detained over the shooting of Trevor Ellis who was found dead in his car after the riots in Croydon.

Despite Mr Cameron's zero tolerance pledge there are still calls for the Government to reconsider plans to cut police budgets.

Yvette Cooper, Labour's shadow home secretary said: "After the events of last week what we need from the Prime Minister is not more spin but more support for the police."

"Promising the police will take a zero tolerance approach to street crime at the same time as cutting the officers they need to do the job is not leadership.

"Cutting 16,000 police officers will do nothing to combat gangs and street crime and increases the risks to law and order.

"The Prime Minister and Home Secretary will have no credibility with belated promises on crime as long as they are committed to such big cuts to policing. If they want to get serious on crime they need to rethink their plans now."

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