Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UK riots: Home Secretary considering new general curfew powers

Police could be handed new curfew powers to clear the streets of rioters, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said today.

The Home Office are discussing how to give forces the powers they need to tackle future disturbances, Mrs May said.

Officers should be given clearer guidance on public order policing, she said.

The new powers could let the police clear large urban areas of people during breakdowns of public order.

Councils can currently apply for dispersal orders, where police can move groups of youths who are causing a nuisance. Curfews can also be imposed on individual offenders.

"Under existing laws, there is no power to impose a general curfew in a particular area, and, while curfew conditions can be placed on some offenders as part of their Asbo, criminal sentence or bail conditions, there are only limited powers to impose them on somebody under the age of 16," she said. (more)