BOSTON (CBS) – British Prime Minister David Cameron said officials will look to law enforcement in U.S. cities like Boston for help in dealing with the ongoing London riots.
“I want us to use the record of success against gangs from cities like Boston in the USA, and indeed from the Strathclyde Police in Scotland, who have done this by engaging police in the voluntary sector and local government. I want this to be a national priority,” Cameron said recently.
London police raided houses on Thursday to round up more rioting suspects in response to four nights of violence and looting. Officers have made 900 arrests so far as violence and looting took over several poor urban neighborhoods.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports.
A single event, the shooting of a Tottenham man by police, may have been the match that lit up the riots, but the fuel came from deep seeded mistrust plus anger over recent government cutbacks.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says British authorities have to do more than just make arrests.
“They clearly have to hold people accountable, to put a case against someone together, that’s fine, but in some cases, police agencies have declared war against the whole neighborhood, and that is an ill-advised strategy,” said Davis.
Davis said police must walk the streets, talk to neighbors and rebuild trust to try and keep the areas calm.
“Making sure police officers are on foot, talking to people, and not just concentrating on enforcement, but prevention, and really establishing a strong, trusting relationship with the community. Those are the things that tend to reduce the potential for eruptions like we’ve seen,” said Davis.
Davis added that Cameron is probably interested in the work of former Boston Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who also oversaw police in New York and L.A. and has done work in London.