March 9 2014 Latest news:
John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Police said lessons had been learnt a year after rioting hit the streets of Barking and Dagenham.
Yobs torched the derelict Westbury Arms pub in Ripple Road, Barking, fought pitched battles with police and looted shops costing businesses tens of thousands of pounds on August 8 last year.
Malaysian student Ashraf Rossli, 20, was mugged on video by fake samaritans at a Barking flyover in what became one of the defining images of the disorder. Two men have been jailed and the accounting student has returned to his home land.
Barking and Dagenham Police Supt Gary Buttercase said officers had implemented new strategies, monitored social media and had an extra 1,750 public order officers in London to prevent more disturbances.
Police also vowed never to stop hunting the rioters as it emerged 100 had evaded justice.
Mr Buttercase said: “I continue to be extremely proud of the overwhelming bravery of my officers who policed the disorder both in Barking and Dagenham and in the wider London area.
“Lessons were learnt from this unprecedented incident and significant changes have now been made to the police public order strategy, mobilisation plan and tactics.
“I would like to reassure the public that police are taking all possible steps to stop these events from being repeated in the future.”
Meanwhile, Barking and Dagenham Council said the disorder had been a “huge challenge” but stressed the borough had taken a “tough line” on troublemakers.
The Labour council added that Met figures showed incidents of serious youth violence had fallen by more than half (56 per cent) from 73 to 47 in Barking and Dagenham since April, compared to the same period last year.
The statistics show there was a 36 per cent drop overall in London from 2,452 to 1,803.
Crime and justice cabinet member, Cllr Jeanne Alexander, said: “Last year’s disturbances were a huge challenge for Barking and Dagenham, but one which we faced as a community together.
“Our borough remains absolutely determined never to allow thuggery and violence to go unpunished – and we took a tough line to make sure anyone who was involved felt the full force of the law.”