Courts have sat through the night to deal with criminal charges from four nights of looting and rioting in English cities.
In London many of the accused are thought to have been remanded on bail with curfews. Extra court sittings were being arranged elsewhere as David Cameron gave carte blanche to the police on manpower and tactics, including the use of water cannon. This was despite comments on Tuesday from the home secretary, Theresa May, playing down the likelihood of their use.
The prime minister said he expected anyone convicted of violent disorder to go to prison. More than 1,100 people have been arrested in centres including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol and Leicester.
Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham bore the brunt of the latest rioting and looting, with trouble also erupting in Liverpool, Salford, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Bristol and Gloucester.
In Birmingham a murder inquiry is under way after three British Asian men were killed by a car in a suspected hit-and-run. Police had not established whether there was any direct link to disturbances in the city apart from the sheer numbers on the streets.
In Manchester police warned looters: “We are coming for you,” and in London a senior police officer said vigilante groups set up to protect shops and homes were hampering police operations.
There were reports of people seeking to prevent looting in suburbs including Enfield and Eltham, where there were supporters of the English Defence League present, and Southall, where Sikhs protected their temple.
Parliament will be recalled for a day on Thursday to discuss the situation. Cameron will also chair another meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra.