No need to cancel UK visits, says British Embassy


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People intending to travel to the United Kingdom, where increasingly violent scenes are being played out in cities across the country, should not cancel their plans, says the British Embassy in Lisbon.

A spokesperson told the Algarve Resident that there was no change to the United Kingdom’s travel policy and that “transport was operating normally”.

“People should keep away from those areas which have been identified as affected by the trouble,” said the spokesperson today (Wednesday).

Prime Minister David Cameron, who cut short a family holiday and flew back to the UK on Monday evening, said on Tuesday:

“People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for the law abiding.

“Let me, first of all, completely condemn the scenes that we have seen on our television screens and people have witnessed in their communities.

“These are sickening scenes – scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing, scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews as they’re trying to put out fires. This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated.”

And Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I want to send out this very clear message to the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters of the perpetrators of this violence: stop this now.

“Stop your loved ones getting into trouble; stop them destroying your communities. And I want to send this message to everybody: help the police by identifying these criminals. Help us to bring them to justice and restore order in your communities.

“The UK Government thinks this violence and disorder in London and other parts of the country is unacceptable and unjustifiable. The police are mounting robust operations to tackle the disorder across the country. Those responsible for violence and looting will be made to face the consequences of their actions.  

“As has been made public by the UK police, there have already been more than 500 arrests. The courts are working quickly to ensure the perpetrators are punished and justice is done.

“The PM has announced that he has asked for the House to be recalled to discuss the civil disturbances.”

As frightening images of teenagers burning buildings and cars and sacking shops were beamed around the world, advice was issued by several countries.

In Australia the government warned its citizens to “avoid all demonstrations and protests” and to “monitor the media for information on possible new safety and security risks and follow the instructions from local authorities.”

The US, which initially did not issue any change in travel advice, later urged travellers to “move away from any scenes of civil unrest.”

Germans have been warned to exercise special caution and Latvians have been told to get life and health insurance.

Cautionary advice to avoid affected areas has also been issued by the authorities in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Around the world the teenage violence was described in graphic detail in the world’s press.

The Spanish daily El Pais called it “The Battle of London” while the Portuguese daily Publico had the headline “Thousands of police in the street as riots continue”.

One Italian newspaper called the unrest “Urban Guerrilla War” while the Russian media had a more revolutionary approach with one headline screaming “Hungry Mutiny.”