“That is, frankly, what Londoners want to see,” he said.
Although the rioters came from all Britain’s ethnic communities, the violence stirred fears of heightened racial tensions — especially in Birmingham, where three South Asian men were killed when they were hit by a car, reportedly driven by black youths.
Home Secretary Theresa May said she was banning a march planned for Saturday by the far-right English Defense League in the central England town of Telford amid fears of violence.
Britain’s Parliament was called back from its summer break for an emergency debate on the riots Thursday, with Cameron promising authorities would get strong powers to stop street mayhem from erupting again.
He said authorities were considering new powers, including allowing police to order thugs to remove masks or hoods, evicting troublemakers from subsidized housing and temporarily disabling cell phone instant messaging services.
He told lawmakers that he would look to cities like Boston for inspiration, and mentioned former Los Angeles, New York and Boston Police Chief William Bratton as a person who could help offer advice.
Bratton said in a statement he’d be “pleased and honored” to provide services and counsel in any capacity, adding that he loves London and has worked with British police for nearly 20 years.
Cameron also said the government, police and intelligence services were looking at whether there should be limits on the use of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook or services like BlackBerry Messenger to spread disorder.
BlackBerry’s simple and largely cost free messaging service was used by rioters to coordinate their activities, Cameron’s office said. An 18-year-old woman was charged Friday with using BlackBerry messaging to encourage others to take part in violence. Several others have been charged with inciting violence on Facebook and Twitter.
But any move to disable the services temporarily is likely to be strongly opposed by civil libertarians.
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