London: To deal with outbreaks of disorder on the streets, police in England and Wales are to be given new guidance in the wake of last week’s rioting. Home Secretary Theresa May has asked for new advice on use of officers and tactics after several cities were hit. She has said police initially deployed too few officers and that some appeared “reluctant” to use robust tactics.
In a speech later, she is also due to say last week’s riots make the case for police reform more urgent than ever.
Mrs May’s speech in London is expected to provoke further conflict with senior officers over the government’s planned 20% police funding cuts and plans for directly elected officials to oversee police forces.
In a separate speech, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to announce probation officers will be told to recommend community payback sentences for those convicted over the riots but not jailed. This would see them help to clean-up the areas they had damaged.
In her speech, Mrs May will announce that clearer guidance will be issued to chief constables about the number of officers that should be deployed during outbreaks of disorder and what kind of tactics can be used.
Advice will also be given on how many officers should be given public order training and when it is appropriate for other forces to provide help, known as “mutual aid”.