The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Riot update: Suspected rioters begin to be charged and processed through courts

A stronger police presence in UK cities last night meant that the streets of the nation were relatively quiet. But for courts around the country, the night was far from peaceful as hundreds of alleged rioters were processed.

In London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol and Leicester, night courts have been feeling the pressure of having more than 1,500 arrested rioters to deal with.

Among the defendants were an 11-year-old boy, who admitted stealing a bin, and a primary school teaching assistant, who pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal.

The teaching assistant was released on conditional bail while awaiting sentencing. The young boy, also released on bail, was said to be too young for either electronic tagging or imprisonment.

The majority of rioters who have already been charged faced charges of burglary and public order act offences. Other charges included assaulting police officers, possession of weapons, criminal damage, handling stolen goods and robbery.

The Metropolitan Police have now assigned 450 detectives to hunt for rioters and looters, using CCTV footage and by asking members of the public to cooperate and identify suspects.

Commander Simon Foy, head of the homicide and serious crime command, said: "We promise a vigorous and rigorous pursuit. To those individuals who think that they have got away with it, my message is we will come and find you."

Prompted by the police force's evident struggle to cope with the events of the past few days, London Mayor Boris Johnson asked the Government to rethink their plans to cut police numbers.

But Downing Street rejected his appeal, saying that cuts were necessary in order to deal with the UK's deficit.

Parliament is being recalled today (11 August) in order to discuss the riots. There will also be another COBRA meeting, the Government's emergency committee.

Related links:
Read more on the story (Guardian)
Read 'Can I appeal a criminal conviction?' (FindLaw)
Find local criminal solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)