Riots cost Cambridgeshire police �350,000

THE RIOTS may have cost Cambridgeshire police some �350,000 but the chief constable has praised the “damn robust” policing which ensured disturbances in the county were kept to a minimum.

There is an additional cost of �600,000 of sending 406 county officers to deal with the wide-spread disturbances in London last month, but this will be picked up by the Metropolitan Police.

Over a week period disorder hit cities across the country but rioting in Cambridge was limited to a single incident, something Chief Constable Simon Parr has praised the police for.

“There were one or two moments where people thought they were going to follow the example of other criminals around the country,” he said, “but we dealt with it damn robustly.”

On Tuesday, August, 9 some 30 youths gathered on Midsummer Common before moving towards the Grafton, but Ch Con Parr said his officers were never going to allow any trouble.

“Within 10 minutes they were quickly surrounded by cops with batons saying, ‘You are not going to do this,’ he said.

“These streets belong to the community and not to them.”

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During the week 22 arrests were made, 16 of them directly linked to the disturbances in Cambridge.

The extent of volunteer policing during the riots has also been revealed.

Special constables contributed more than 1,500 hours to policing during the operation, some of whom were given additional time off work to help police the county.

Ch Con Parr said he would write to each employer individually and thank them for helping out during a time when police forces were stretched across the country.

Cambridgeshire police trebled their Twitter following while keeping the public up to date with their work and quashing inaccurate rumours.

“There was a lot of press about Twitter being used to organise the riots but for us it was absolutely tremendous,” Ch Con Parr said.

“We are ahead of the game when it comes to social media and we intend to continue using it to link our Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.”

CCTV images of suspects released by the force on Twitter saw more than 21,000 views.