Vigilantes clash with police in London

August 11th, 2011 - 11:53 am ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Aug 11 (IANS) Vigilante groups set up to fight back rioters in London have clashed with police as they tried to mobilise their own forces to deal with the situation.

They defied police orders and vented their anger against officers Wednesday night, The Telegraph reported Thursday.

Riot police were hit with “missiles”, including bottles, as over 1,000 officers battled with dozens of middle-aged men on the streets in Eltham, southeast London.

Vigilante groups were set up across the country to fight back rioters hell-bent on destroying or damaging their homes and businesses, The Mirror newspaper said.

Defiant locals, many of them carrying makeshift weapons, patrolled the streets as looting and violence scarred the streets of Britain’s cities, it said.

As the country saw a fourth night of violence and looting, Prime Minister David Cameron said the “fightback” is under way.

He added that every action would be taken to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannon to be made available at 24 hours’ notice, BBC reported.

On Tuesday night, the unrest spread to cities like Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Three men protecting property died when they were hit by a car in Birmingham. Offering his condolences to their families, Cameron described the deaths as “truly dreadful”.

Meanwhile, rioters in Manchester and Salford have been warned that they would be evicted from their council homes if they were identified on CCTV footage.

Both city councils issued warnings that if any of their tenants or their children were found involved in violence or looting they would be “thrown out”.

Prime Minister Cameron is facing growing cabinet pressure to rethink the coalition’s policing budget cuts in the wake of the deaths of three Birmingham men. As the Police Federation warned of a “catastrophe” if similar riots erupted after the cuts were introduced.

A senior government source said the Home Office would be advised to take a fresh look at its plans to cut two billion pounds from police funding over the next few years.

“The optics have changed,” the source told the Guardian newspaper.

Cameron said the cuts would not lead to a “reduction in visible policing”. He is expected to announce some emergency funding when he addresses the Commons Thursday.

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