London riots: Police from east of England sent to help

Officers from several forces in the east of England have been deployed to London to help deal with the rioting across the capital.

The Thames Valley, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex forces have all sent officers to assist the Metropolitan Police.

The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire public order planning unit has also sent officers to London.

The move came as violence erupted for a third night in the capital.

Suffolk Police said a number of its officers were heading to London on Tuesday afternoon and overnight to help arrest, identify or deter people from rioting and looting.

They had experienced a surge in support from special constables, they added, and rumours of disturbances in Suffolk were "malicious and fictitious".

Fuel precaution

This was echoed by Essex Police, which currently has 50 officers in the capital and has 126 special constables on duty.

Norfolk Police's Assistant Chief Constable Charlie Hall said it would maintain a high-profile presence while assisting the Metropolitan Police.

Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police also said there was no truth in stories of disturbances in the two counties.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesperson said that as a precautionary measure, it had asked petrol stations not to sell containers of fuel while the disturbances in London and elsewhere continue.

Extra officers were being deployed in the three main towns of Bedford, Luton and Dunstable on Tuesday evening to prevent any threat of disorder taking place, a spokesman said.

Cambridgeshire Police said 25 officers had been sent to the capital on Monday and a further 25 are to be deployed on Tuesday.

Rumoured events

Deputy Chief Constable John Feavyour said: "The force is monitoring the situation in London and other parts of the country.

"At this time there is no information to suggest there is any threat to Cambridgeshire but we have contingency plans in place.

"Patrols in the county have been increased as a precaution."

Northamptonshire Police, which has sent 20 officers to London, said rumoured events in the county had not been corroborated so should be disregarded.

Supt Mark Evans said: "Officers are not asking shopkeepers to close-up, although there may be some retailers who may make the decision independently to do this as a precautionary measure.

"There will be increased officers out on patrol."

Kent, Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex police forces have also sent officers to London.

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