Cities across the UK should learn how Cardiff has prevented the type of violence that has brought chaos and fear to English neighbourhoods, Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott said yesterday.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron said the Cardiff Central MP was “absolutely right” and any future inquiries should learn lessons from the Welsh capital.
Ms Willott wants the Home Affairs Select Committee to study the work done by Cardiff’s police and community groups to prevent potential riots.
She said: “Inquiries into the horrific violence and criminal behaviour we saw across England over the past week must look at the causes of and response to the riots in those areas.
“But it is equally important to look at how police and communities in Cardiff and elsewhere managed to defuse potential disorder without violence and learn from this too. South Wales Police have done a brilliant job not only over the past week in helping prevent problems, but also in the longer term by helping to build strong links within the community which are vital in helping discourage this type of criminality.”
However, Shadow Welsh Secretary and Labour Neath MP Peter Hain said UK Government spending cuts would result in the loss of 1,000 police in Wales.
And Gary Bohun, chairman of the South Wales Police Federation, described the pressure which Welsh officers are under as they try to help stop violence in England.
He said: “If these savage cuts go ahead, public safety will be compromised and the British police service will not be able to respond effectively to future mass demonstrations or widespread criminality as being currently experienced.”
In the House of Commons, Mr Cameron insisted the issue was where police were deployed – not the overall number of officers.
Jenny Willott MP Police officers carry out a raid to recover property stolen during the recent riots