THE hunt for rioters and looters involved in Britain’s street violence will continue for at least two years as police trawl through thousands of hours of CCTV footage, a newspaper reports.
Scotland Yard says more than 2000 people have been arrested over the early August riots, which saw pockets of turbulence break-out across London and regional English cities, as buildings and vehicles were destroyed, businesses looted and people assaulted.
In London, huge digital screens are showing images of people captured by CCTV cameras during the riots and wanted for questioning by police.
Already some 600 suspects’ images have been published by police, while investigators continue to review more than 40,000 hours of riot-related CCTV footage, The Times newspaper reported.
“We’re looking at footage where people have made little or no effort to disguise their faces,” said Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Concannon, head of the riot investigation.
“Sometimes they pulled up a scarf or a hood just before they go into a looted shop, then 50 metres down the road they take it off again, or they’ll get into a car with the registration clearly visible.”
There are about 1.85 million CCTV cameras in operation across Britain, The Times said.
“I want to send a clear message to those involved that you will not get away with it,” Metropolitan Police Commander Simon Foy said when announcing the 2000th arrest on Thursday.
“The investigation into the widespread criminality we saw remains a major task on an unprecedented scale.”
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