Q.CAN MORE PEOPLE COMMITTING CRIMINAL ACTS BE DETAINED?
A.For every arrest made, the police have to follow certain procedures, including presenting the detainee at a police station and justifying the arrest – taking officers off the street for several hours. The government can suspend procedures to keep officers active, but will be reluctant to be seen enforcing “emergency” legislation.
Q.WHAT EXTRA MEASURES ARE AVAILABLE?
A.The Met has said that rubber bullets are available, and will be used “if deemed necessary”. Police could use water cannons to disperse crowds, but this could be badly received as such measures have not been used in the UK before. It may also be difficult to get cannons to the UK, as there are just six, all in Northern Ireland.
Q.COULD THE ARMY BE DEPLOYED?
A.Though community leaders have called for army backup to support police, it could cause more trouble than it’s worth. The army is trained for military combat rather than civil unrest, and without firearms it’s difficult to know how they could be armed.
Q.WHAT ABOUT A CURFEW?
A.A great idea in theory, but would be incredibly difficult for an already stretched police force to implement and enforce.