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Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Tuesday, 9 August 2011 08:59 UK

May not drawn on call for army to combat riots

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The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has refused to be drawn on whether she is considering calls for a curfew, the use of water cannon, and even for the army to be brought in to tackle the looting and violence which has been seen in London and other cities.

She told Today presenter John Humphrys that she would be talking to the police about what resources they wanted to counter the disturbances.

"I'm going to listen to what they think they need, and how they think they need to be able now to address the problems. Rather than just saying to you, 'oh yes we'll do this or we'll do that,'" she explained.

"I think it's important that they're actually out there, they're the ones that take the operational decisions, they're the ones who've been out there on the streets dealing with this, and I need to hear from them what they think it is that they might need."

During a third night of rioting, hundreds of youths in cities across the country stripped shops of their contents and dozens of cars and buildings were set alight. In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said that last night saw the largest policing operation of the three nights to date, deploying around 2500 officers in addition to the 3500 officers already in boroughs.

It said that more than 200 people were arrested overnight "leading to all MPS cells being full and prisoners being taken to surrounding forces" and added that 44 of its officers were injured during last night's disturbances.


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