World News - Rioters need tough love - Cameron
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    World News - Rioters need tough love - Cameron

    2 September 2011 Last updated at 04:22 ET Prime Minister David Cameron has said those involved in the riots need "tough love" as he promised to "get to grips" with the country's problem families.

    He has vowed to turn around the lives of 120,000 families by 2015.

    The PM told the BBC the money to do that would be found, despite spending cuts, and that it would "save the country a fortune" in the long term.

    He denied his response to the riots indicated a lurch to the right, calling himself a "common-sense Conservative".

    In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Cameron said "tough love" - and indeed "both elements of it" - were crucial to dealing with rioters.

    "For some of the children who've ended up in this terrible situation there was probably a failure in their background, in their families," he said.

    "There probably was a shortage of not just respect and boundaries but also love. But you do need, when they cross the line and break the law, to be very tough.

    Criminal underclass "So to me tough love sums it up, that's what we need.

    "That's what [Work and Pensions Secretary] Iain Duncan Smith and [Home Secretary] Theresa May and others in the government believe and will deliver.

    "I think it's an opportunity, we have to use try and use this an opportunity, to do things to strengthen our society, which along with rebuilding a strong economy is going to be this government's priority."

    Mr Cameron reiterated his belief that the riots that erupted in several English cities last month were straightforward criminality - rather than any form of protest - but he said it was not just a criminal underclass who were responsible for them, and too many other people allowed themselves to become involved.

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    World News - Rioters need tough love - Cameron

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