British police hunt for 30,000 rioters


London : About 30,000 people are suspected to have been involved in the looting, arson and violence during the riots which were witnessed in Britain recently, Scotland Yard has said.

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According to Metropolitan Police figures released Sunday, 3,296 crimes were committed during the violence in London over four days, Daily Mail reported.

A police source said: “It was the true definition of mob violence and the Met is keen to find out who all these people are.”

The huge numbers, however, also raise fears that the overwhelming numbers could swamp the courts and cause overcrowding in prisons.

The incidents of violence range from handling stolen goods to thugs firing at police.

The prison population in England and Wales reached a record high for the second week running Sunday as an increasing number of people are sent to jail over the riots.

According to Ministry of Justice figures, the total number of prisoners hit 86,654, which is 723 higher than the previous record of 85,931 set last week and lesser than 1,500 short of the usable operational capacity of 88,093.

The government maintains there will be enough jail places for anyone sentenced as a result of the violence and looting that swept across cities.

The Prison Service said it was facing an ‘unprecedented situation’ and was ‘developing contingencies to increase usable capacity should further pressure be placed on the prison estate’.