CROYDON RIOTS: Police confident of preventing another riot
8:00am Wednesday 8th August 2012 in Riots: One year on
Croydon police have confidently stated they are prepared in the event another riot is brewing.
The police have been publicly criticised for the handling of the riots, and have admitted that in Croydon there were only 100 officers available to try and stem the tide of thousands of rioters and looters.
A year on, senior officers believe the service is ready to prevent a repeat.
Acting borough commander Rob Atkin said: "There has been a change in policy and the way in which we respond. The big difference is the speed of mobilisation and the number of officers trained to handle public disorder situations. With the changes in place I am confident we can handle any situation.
He outlined how Croydon police would respond if another riot threatened.
1. Officers are looking for trends on social media through especially trained officers or notice a spike in complaints of groups gathering or more vandalism.
2. Croydon response units deployed to those areas. The Met police now has 1750 more pubic order trained officers and in Croydon the borough commander Dave Musker is a n expert in the field, with a number of chief superintendents also public order trained. A bid is made to the central Met Police Centre for additional resources.
3. Incidents continue to increase – a request is made to receive officers from the Territorial Support Group. This unit of police officers has the highest trained public order police who specialise in dealing with rioting and crowd control.
4. For each unit called in you received one inspector, three sergeants and 21 constables who arrive in specific support vehicles. These are then at the disposal of the borough commander to deploy as he sees fit.
5. If the situation continues the borough can call upon reserves from across the capital who can be bussed in to deal with the situation.
Acting borough commander Rob Atkin said: "It is important to say that in the past year there has not been a hint that there was to be another riot. The scenes last year were unprecedented and clearly there was a situation where there were not enough resources.
"The Met Police has reviewed this and while it would be impossible to hire thousands more officers, there has been more training in how to handle the situation and in particular using intelligence to act quickly to quash it."