Over 1,500 appear in courts over London riots

Prime Minister David Cameron had announced a concerted, all-out war on gangs and gang culture.

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2011, 23:27 PM IST

London: Over 1,500 people, a fifth of them
youths, have appeared in court in connection with the riots in
London and other English cities, according to latest official
figures.

Most of the accused who came before magistrates have been
remanded in custody, the Ministry of Justice said.

The majority of charges have been brought in London, with
further cases in Greater Manchester, the West Midlands,
Merseyside and Nottingham.

During the riots, shops were looted, buildings burned and
five people died.

According to the official figures, 1,566 people have now
appeared before magistrates charged with involvement in the
disturbances, from August 6-9.

About a fifth were youths, aged 10 to 17, and 91 per cent
were male, the BBC reported.

Many of the cases, which mostly relate to burglary, theft
and violent disorder, have been referred up to the Crown
Court, which is able to impose stiffer sentences.

A total of 860 (66 per cent) of those charged so far have
been remanded into immediate custody, with 443 remanded on
bail.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We are doing
everything necessary to ensure those who turned on their own
communities face justice quickly.

"Everyone involved with the courts and prison service has
put in a huge effort to make that possible and that work will
continue."

Most of the cases - 1,027 - have been brought in London,
with 190 going before the courts in Greater Manchester.
There have been 132 cases in the West Midlands, while
numbers in Merseyside and Nottingham have been smaller, at 67
and 64 respectively.

Prime Minister David Cameron had announced a concerted,
all-out war on gangs and gang culture.

"It is a major criminal disease that has infected streets
and estates across our country," he had said on the violent
incidents in some key English cities, which tarnished the
image of the country.

PTI