David Cameron is making his statement now. His main promises:
* Police: Increased police presence will remain until the weekend.
* Army: The army will not be used to tackle rioters. But soldiers could be brought in to help the police with everyday jobs, freeing up police for “frontline” duties
* Face masks: At present people can only be asked to remove masks in certain areas and for a limited time. That will change so police can ask people to remove masks “where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity“. It is likely that the government will amend existing legislation.
* Communication networks: They could be closed down (presumably on a localised basis) where there are suspicions that they are being used to faciliate criminal activity. The government admits that this is still tentative; there will be talks between police and telecoms companies to find out if this is possible without infuriating the wider public. (At the moment, no one seems to know.)
* Curfew: Government will look at existing powers and whether a power of curfew should be used. This is again still at an early stage; the police will be asked whether they need greater powers and how this could work in practice.
* Insurance: SMEs affected will not have to file insurance claims within 14 days but can now take up to 42 days
* High street fund: A £20m fund will be set up to help high streets affected. Councils will also be encouraged to grant rate relief on business rates. Where buildings have been destroyed there will be a business rates holiday until they are rebuilt.
* Tax returns: HM Revenue & Customs has been encouraged to give people more time to pay tax if they have problems with their cashflow.
* £10m recovery scheme: This money will go towards councils to help clean up streets and improve safety
* Shutters: Planning laws to be changed so shops can more easily introduce protective shutters
* Gangs: Gang injunctions are currently used (under 2009 legislation) for adults, for example preventing them from visiting certain areas. The Home Office was already planning a pilot for 14-17 year olds. The government now wants such injunctions to be used for both adults and children – but it’s not clear if this is teenagers or younger.
* Policing: More lessons will be learned from Boston, USA and Strathclyde, Scotland
* Benefits: People can only be thrown out of social housing if they break the law if the offence occurs in their neighbourhood. The government wants to change this so that they can be thrown out if they commit an offence anywhere.