UK PM calls ex-NY police chief for riot advice

William Bratton is credited with curbing street crime as police chief in NY, Los Angeles, Boston.

New York: William Bratton, credited with curbing street crime as police chief in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, agreed on Friday to take a job helping British Prime Minister David Cameron quell the unrest in England.

Bratton, chairman of the Manhattan-based, private security firm Kroll, accepted the offer to work as a consultant, advising Cameron on dealing with widespread rioting, said Jack Papp, a Kroll spokesman.

The terms and conditions of the arrangement were being discussed.

After hearing on Thursday he might be receiving the call, Bratton said in a statement he would be honoured to counsel British authorities on calming street violence that followed the death of a British gang member.

"I would certainly be in a position to discuss the contemporary American experience and my work in these areas - in particular the successes that created real reductions in gang-related crime in Boston, New York and most recently in Los Angeles where we also saw significant improvements in the relations between the police and the city`s diverse communities," Bratton said.

"There are many lessons from these experiences that I believe are relevant to the current situation in England."

Bratton has teamed up with British police at other times over the past 20 years. In 2009, Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

A native of Boston, Bratton headed that city`s police department in the early 1990s and initiated a neighbourhood policing effort to reduce violence among young people.

As New York police commissioner under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Bratton implemented a "zero tolerance" crackdown on street crime that ushered in a period of record crime reduction.

In Los Angeles, Bratton helped quell gang violence and improve strained relations with the community. Now, he is working out a formal agreement on assisting Britain at a time of deep unrest.

"I fully appreciate the difficulties they are currently facing," Bratton said in his statement.

"I support their resolve to seize upon this difficult situation as an opportunity to address the issues of gangs and gang violence and the resulting fear and disorder head-on."

Bureau Report