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London police restored order not MPs, says top cop

As the death toll from violent riots in England rose to five, a top British police officer has slammed political leaders for finding fault with the cops' handling of the unrest.

world Updated: Aug 12, 2011 20:18 IST
Police-arrest-a-man-for-looting-in-Clapham-Junction-in-south-London-Violence-and-looting-spread-across-some-of-London-s-most-impoverished-neighborhoods-with-youths-setting-fire-to-shops-and-vehicles-during-a-third-day-of-rioting-in-the-city-that-will-host-next-summer-s-Olympic-Games
Police-arrest-a-man-for-looting-in-Clapham-Junction-in-south-London-Violence-and-looting-spread-across-some-of-London-s-most-impoverished-neighborhoods-with-youths-setting-fire-to-shops-and-vehicles-during-a-third-day-of-rioting-in-the-city-that-will-host-next-summer-s-Olympic-Games

As the death toll from violent riots in England rose to five, a top British police officer has slammed political leaders for finding fault with the cops' handling of the unrest while authorities summoned two social networking sites and makers of BlackBerry to discuss their roles in preventing future outbreaks.

More than 1,700 people have been arrested across England for their alleged role in one of the worst riots in decades.

Nearly 600 of them have been charged with violence, disorder and looting.

Sir Hugh Orde, head of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was police, not MPs, who had restored order.

"The fact that politicians chose to come back (from holiday as Parliament was recalled) is an irrelevance in terms
of the tactics that were by then developing," he told BBC last evening.

"The more robust policing tactics you saw were not a function of political interference; they were a function of the numbers being available to allow the chief constables to change their tactics."

However, on Friday, he denied a rift with ministers despite criticism from them of the police's handling of the riots.

Orde said he had received "outstanding" support from home secretary Theresa May who had accepted that officers were not infallible.

His remarks followed Prime Minister David Cameron's address to the emergency session of Parliament yesterday during which he said police tactics had been inadequate when the rioting started in the north London area of Tottenham on
Saturday following the killing of 29-year-old Mark Duggan in firing by cops on Thursday.