Dorset police in riot call-up

Dorset Echo: Riot officers dealing with the violence Riot officers dealing with the violence

FIFTY police officers from Dorset have been sent to London and Bristol to help deal with rioting mobs.

Two teams, each comprising of an inspector, three sergeants and 21 police constables, have travelled to assist the Metropolitan Police in London and the Avon and Somerset force in Bristol.

Hundreds have been arrested and the Met Police said yesterday all cells were full in the capital and the service was stretched “beyond belief”.

Last night police officers from all over the country were being drafted in to help police the streets of London – boosting officer numbers in the capital to 16,000.

Chief Inspector Nick Maton of Dorset Police said: “This will not affect the policing of the county of Dorset and contingency measures are in place should any disorder occur throughout the county.

“Following the serious events throughout the country Dorset Police has put in place its own command structure. “Safer neighbourhood teams are at the heart of our communities, they are monitoring local tensions as well as listening and understanding members of public to ensure that Dorset is safe and feels safe.

“Our partners and communities are telling us they are appalled by the events they have seen in the news. There is nothing to indicate any copycat disorder will take place in the county at this time.

“Our thoughts are with our colleagues throughout the country and those members of the public affected by the disorder during this difficult time.”

Dorset journalist describes the drama

A JOURNALIST from Dorset has spoken of the chaos he witnessed while reporting on the riots on the streets of London.

Alistair Bunkall, a Sky News reporter, spoke of the anarchy as mobs ran wild looting and setting fires to buildings.

Mr Bunkall, 29, from Buckland Newton, got his first taste of journalism while on work experience at the Dorset Echo.

He is now based in London with Sky News but is sent round the world to cover stories. He was in Norway last month after the twin terrorist attacks and went to Sudan earlier this year, just before the country became independent.

Mr Bunkall, an ex-Sherborne schoolboy and Dorset cricketer, said: “I flicked on Sky News and saw my colleague Mark Stone reporting in Clapham, so decided to go and join him.

“It was anarchy and for at least two hours there were no police, not one officer.

“There were hundreds of young men, some women but mainly men, and they were smashing windows and helping themselves to whatever they wanted.

Grim series of violent events

The police shooting victim Mark Duggan, whose death sparked the riots, did not fire at officers before he was killed according to ballistic tests said the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC said there was ‘no evidence’ that a handgun found at the scene where Mr Duggan died after receiving a gunshot wound to the chest last Thursday was used.

The 29-year-old’s death was a trigger for the first night’s rioting in Tottenham on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the disorder spread across the country yesterday with reports of disorder in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, and Liverpool.

The football match between England and Holland at Wembley has been cancelled.

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