Met gears up in case of further riots

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Police in the capital are gearing up to deal with any repeat of last summer’s riots.

Measures taken include training more officers in public order and making sure more vehicles are available if needed, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe said.

He told the London Assembly police and crime committee yesterday it was accepted police did not do enough when disorder broke out in Tottenham, north London last August – trouble which spread in the following days to other areas of the city and the country.

He said: “We’ve got significantly more police officers available to deploy, we’ve tested that. We are also finalising the numbers of people who we think need to be specialist trained in terms of public order.”

As for vehicles, he said: “We need to be more on the front foot, using vehicles, going forward, not standing in a line.”

On whether “more extreme measures” might be used, such as water cannon and baton rounds, he said: “They’ve been there 30-odd years. If there is to be a change, that’s a political decision, and we’ll work with the Home Office on that. I don’t think it’s something the police should impose.”