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Angry MP hits out over riots

“wE will not stand for this in Britain” - that’s the message from Meriden MP Caroline Spelman in the wake of last week’s riots.

“wE will not stand for this in Britain” - that’s the message from Meriden MP Caroline Spelman in the wake of last week’s riots.

The cabinet minister was speaking out following a major police operation to ensure trouble did not spread to the borough.

And in an unprecedented step, Solihull Magistrates’ Court stayed-open through the night to deal with scores of offenders.

“The whole country has been shocked by the most appalling scenes of looting, violence, vandalising and thieving,” said Mrs Spelman.

“It is criminality pure and simple and there is absolutely no excuse for it.”

She added that “a culture of fear” would not be tolerated and that those convicted should be dealt with severely: “The Prime Minister is right in looking for ways to improve those parts of society that have caused so much trouble.

“Youngsters need nurturing towards a more positive lifestyle than the ‘gangsta’ culture which has been an element of these riots.”

Her views were echoed by Solihull MP Lorely Burt who said: “We need to send a clear message to the culprits”.

Solihull Police activated special powers over the weekend. The Section 30 “dispersal order” allowed officers to move on groups of youths believed to be up to mischief.

Only two individuals were removed under these powers, but police said it had been important to reassure the public.

Police Supt David Walker said: “We believe we acted appropriately, stopping and searching 31 people in the town centre last Tuesday and one on Wednesday.

“Our message to parents is that it remains important for them to know exactly where their children are.”

But Councillor David Jamieson, leader of Solihull’s Labour group, said the troubles raised serious questions about police cuts.

“At a time like this it’s ludicrous to think we can afford to cut police numbers,” he said.

 

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