Fahy:London Riots sparked Manchester Trouble

14 November 2011, 09:30

Manchester could have been spared the August riots if police in London had acted sooner, according to the city's chief constable.

Greater Manchester Police chief Peter Fahy told BBC Panorama that copycat violence broke out after people saw rioters were "getting away with'' their behaviour in the capital.

Mr Fahy said: "A certain group of people saw what was happening in London and decided they seemed to be getting away with it.

"The authorities weren't in control and they decided they wanted their opportunity.''

He told the programme he did not regret the decision to send 100 officers from Greater Manchester Police to help deal with the situation in London.

"We knew what was absolutely critical was that there needed to be control of London. Because that was just creating more and more copycat violence up here.''

Mr Fahy added: "I think you'd have to say with hindsight if London had been under control sooner we probably would not have faced the problems in Manchester.''

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, defended the actions of the Met.

"I think any police force in the world would have found it extremely difficult to cope with the rapidly escalating violence that we experienced in London,'' he said.

He added: "Peter Fahy is a man who is held in high regard and respect and somebody we should listen to, but the officers in London did a magnificent job, putting their lives on the line to protect their communities.''

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