Priti Patel demands police take tougher stance against illegal rioters as Sadiq Khan ‘missing in action’
PRITI Patel has urged police chiefs to take a tougher stance against rioters after another day of violence and illegal partying on the streets of London.
Allies of the Home Secretary accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of “going missing in action” as she stepped in to hold urgent talks with Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick amid rising alarm at violence in the capital.
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Mr Khan stunned Londoners by announcing £110 million of police cuts just hours after a second night of unrest in the city.
And police are braced for another busy few days over the weekend as people head outdoors after months cooped up inside during lockdown.
In this morning’s talks Dame Cressida assured Ms Patel that her officers will be equipped with the riot gear and protection they need after being overwhelmed by mobs in Brixton on Wednesday night and forced to flee the scene.
Videos and photographs of smashed up cop cars were circulated online after the street party got out of hand in Brixton.
Following the talks, a Home Office source said: “The message has been the law is the law and it’s the job of the police to enforce the law.
“The Home Secretary reiterated the message that there are many people across the country who have given up so much for a long time and there are people running riot across the streets, and the police should break them up.”
Ms Patel today confirmed she had received a “comprehensive update” from police on public order after demanding an urgent meeting with Ms Dick.
She tweeted today: “Violence we are seeing is appalling. The police have my full backing in tackling criminality & enforcing the law – criminals will face consequences.”
Mr Khan was blasted for outlining police cuts yesterday as the Met braces for further unrest over the weekend.
Some £110 million of the half a billion pounds worth of savings are expected to come from the Met Police. The Labour Mayor insisted the police and London Fire brigade will see the smallest percentage of cuts.
And an ally of Ms Patel blasted: “It’s telling that the Mayor of London seems to be missing in action when there have been riots in his city.
“If he hadn’t spent so much time appeasing protesters we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now.
“She’s not going to apologise for holding police chiefs to account because Sadiq Khan won’t.”
It comes after police officers were targeted in Notting Hill last night by violent mob after an illegal London rave.
Thugs threw bottles at cops in “vicious” scenes in Brixton – injuring 22 officers – on Wednesday while riot cops were again pelted with missiles in Notting Hill last night.
And just last week, thirty-eight police officers were injured in the “indefensible hooliganism” in demonstrations against the Black Lives Matter movement.
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick today said that in three weeks, there had been “140-odd officers” injured – but they were prepared for any further action.
And she slammed the crowds for “completely flouting the health regulations”, adding they seemed to want to have large parties instead of prioritising their own health.
She said: “It is hot. Some people have drunk far too much. Some people are just angry and aggressive and some people are plain violent.
“We will be prepared this weekend. We have officers all over London working hard again to try to keep the peace and to protect our public from violence and disorder.”
And she said Brixton had seen “vicious attacks” on police that saw people “using bottles, glasses and anything they could pick up”.
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The rioting scenes unfolded as temperatures went soaring into the 30s across the UK this week, with the hottest day of the year recorded twice.
Last night, cops were also on high alert for unlicensed music events with riot vans descending on Streatham Common in South London after hundreds were seen partying.
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