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Friday, August 12, 2011
U.K. RIOTS: UK's Cameron under pressure over cuts after riots!
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zeenews.india.com / Last Updated: Friday, August 12, 2011, 09:28.
London: Prime Minister David Cameron risks his government's austerity drive, particularly its plans to cut police funding, becoming the focus of Britons' fears about the future after the worst looting and rioting in decades hit English cities this week.
The Conservative party leader took a hardline approach to the violence on Thursday, vowing "the lawless minority" would be hunted down and punished, and blaming the police for their initial response.
Now that the violence has died down, Cameron is under growing pressure to abandon plans to cut police numbers after trouble spread from the capital to several other cities over four chaotic nights, severely stretching police resources.
The country is divided over what caused the looting and arson, but many fear the reductions in police numbers implicit in the government's deep public spending cuts could leave the country exposed if more trouble erupts.
Community leaders and some commentators say poverty, unemployment and a bitter sense of exclusion among many young people cannot be ignored, and public sector cuts are likely to hit the poorest in society hardest.
Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labor party, took care not to blame the government's planned cuts directly for the violence, but told the BBC, "The cuts that are being made are very bad for our society."
Cameron blamed the violence on a minority of opportunistic criminals and on society's failings. "When you have deep moral failures you don't hit them with a wall of money," he told Parliament in an emergency debate.