British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday promised to wage “all-out war” on gangs after riots blighted cities across England last week.
“This must be a wake up call for our country. Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face. Today, just as people wanted criminals robustly confronted on our streets, so they want to see these social problems taken on and defeated,” Cameron told reporters in Witney, Oxfordshire, central England.
The prime minister said he wanted to press ahead with plans to deal with “problem” families, improve parenting and education.
But Labour leader Ed Miliband warned against any “knee-jerk” reactions.
“Instant and simple judgements in response to these sorts of events bring bad solutions,” the leader of the opposition said.
Police have arrested more than 2,700 people in connection with the unrest. At least 1,400 of those arrested have been charged.
Prisons and courts are being kept open around the clock to fast-track the hearings of looting suspects.
Cameron has also appointed Bill Bratton, a former US police chief, to advise the British government on how to tackle gang crime.