Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was the first leader from the West to praise the Libyan people. He also paid tribute to the UK's armed forces. Reuters

British Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament to session in order to address the worst civil disturbances in the country in three decades.

Rioting – primarily youths attacking police and looting stores – has spread from parts of London into other major cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol.

The disturbances began Saturday night in Tottenham, North London, and are now entering its fourth day.

"We will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and make them safe for the law-abiding," Cameron said in a statement at Downing Street, adding that police must be more “robust” in their handling of the disorder.

The Prime Minister, who had to cut short a holiday in Tuscany, Italy, then condemned what he described as "sickening scenes of people looting, vandalizing, thieving, robbing".

He declared that MPs must "stand together in condemnation of these crimes and to stand together in determination to rebuild these communities.”

Cameron also said that all Metropolitan Police leave has been cancelled and more than 16,000 police officers will be deployed across London streets on Wednesday. At least 450 people have been arrested in connection with the upheavals.

Cameron warned the rioters: "You will feel the full force of the law. And if you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishment. Justice will be done and the people will see the consequences for their crimes.”
Steven Kavanagh, the Metropolitan Deputy Assistant Commissioner told BBC it was a "shocking and appalling morning for London to wake up to. The Met was stretched beyond belief in a way that it has never experienced before.”

Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin said it was not necessary to bring in military personnel to help police maintain order, but warned: "We will be out there in ever greater numbers tonight."

Meanwhile, a young man who was shot during riots in the South London town of Croydon has died in hospital, according to Scotland Yard.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who also had to cancel a holiday to deal with the violence told BBC: "These have been the worst scenes of violence and disturbance on our streets for many, many years, and this sort of violence, this level of criminality, this thuggery, this looting, this theft, is completely unacceptable. We can deal with it. We can deal with it with robust policing, with good use of intelligence, but also with the help and support of local communities."

She added: "If there's anybody who knows somebody who was out on those streets last night and involved in this action then they should tell the police."