London riots: PM asks former US top cop to help out

August 13th, 2011 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron London, Aug 13 (IANS) British Prime Minister David Cameron has asked a former police chief from New York and Los Angeles to become his temporary crime adviser in a bid to end the unrest in the country, a media report said.

This has, however, led to complaints from the British police association, reported Sky News.

Cameron asked 63-year-old Bill Bratton, the former chief of police in New York and Los Angeles, to help him out.

This move has angered Scotland Yard’s Inspectors Branch Board, who say they are better placed to offer guidance.

“The Association of Chief Police Officers and the Federation understand British legislation and are in a much better place to advise the prime minister than an American,” the assocaition said in a statement.

“Why won’t the prime minister consult us?” it asked.

Courts across London continue to hear cases of the 1,210 people arrested so far. At least 698 now face charges.

Bratton, however, is “no stranger” to policing in Britain, having teamed up with British officers at other times over the past 20 years, said Sky News.

In 2009, the queen awarded him the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

Bratton - who is now a security expert - left the Los Angeles police force in 2009.

He earlier headed the New York Police Department where, in his first two years in charge, reports of serious crime dropped 27 percent.

Bratton said scenes of police officials overwhelmed by riots in London showed a need for more minority officers and other long-term solutions.

Police needed to focus on calming racial tensions by working more with community leaders and civil rights groups, he said.

“Cameron thanked me for agreeing to work with the British government as they deal with the issues of gang crime, gang violence and gang intervention. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with them on those issues.”

“My assignment is to focus more on the issues of the American experience dealing with gangs and what we may be able to share with them that might help them to prevent similar activities in the future.”

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