Today, the prime minister Cameron had said the “fightback” is under way. Cities in England suffered a fourth night of violence and looting.

The prime minister said that he would take every action to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours notice.
On Tuesday night chaos spread to cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Three men aged 31, 30 and 21 died when they were hit deliberately by a car in Birmingham.

Speaking after a meeting with the government’s Cobra emergency committee, Mr Cameron said police had the legal backing to use any tactics necessary to bring the situation under control, including using baton rounds.

He also said: “This continued violence is simply not acceptable, and it will be stopped. We will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow a culture of fear to exist on our streets.”

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers ruled out using water cannon or baton rounds for now, saying the tactics were not suited to the current unrest.

“Water cannon are used to deal with fixed crowds to buy distance,” he said.

He added that baton rounds would only be deployed when his officers’ lives were under serious threat.

Mr Cameron also said: “We have seen the worst of Britain, but I also believe we have seen some of the best of Britain – the million people who have signed up on Facebook to support the police, coming together in the clean-up operations.”

He said more arrests would take place as police worked through CCTV evidence.

“There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but are frankly sick.

“It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to feel the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities and their actions do not have consequences. Well, they do have consequences.”

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Theresa May told the BBC she had ordered all police forces in England and Wales to mobilise special constables, cancel leave and adopt a “tough, robust approach”.