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London riots: British PM David Cameron promises new measures to stop violence

Riot police look on as fire rages through a building in Tottenham, north London Aug. 7, 2011. Read: British police face public anger as riots rage
AP Photo/Lewis Whyld
UK won't let 'culture of fear' take over
Rioters face off with riot police on the streets in Tottenham, north London, on Aug. 7, 2011.
AP/Lewis Whyld

(CBS/AP) LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday promised vigorous and wide-ranging measures to restore order and prevent riots erupting again on Britain's streets. The new "tougher" actions include taking gang-fighting tips from American cities.

Pictures: Tottenham riots lead to 160 arrests

Thousands of extra police officers on patrol kept a nervous London quiet Wednesday after four nights of rioting. This was a day after looting flared up in Manchester and Birmingham. There is now a murder probe in Birmingham after three men were killed in a hit-and-run reportedly as they took to the streets to deter potential rioters.

"We will do whatever is necessary to restore law and order onto our streets," Cameron said in a somber televised statement. "Nothing is off the table" - including water cannon, commonly used in Northern Ireland but never deployed in mainland Britain.

Cameron has recalled Parliament from its summer recess for an emergency debate on the riots Thursday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of shops were shutdown early or boarded-up on Wednesday night as a precaution. In spite of this, unrest spread across England on a fourth night of violence by brazen crowds of young people. Scenes of ransacked stores, torched cars and burned-out buildings have frightened and outraged many residents.

The chaos in England comes just a year before the country is to host next summer's Olympic Games. Now, the world is closely watching the country's response to the violence. Police across the country have made almost 1,200 arrests - including 800 in London - since the violence broke out in the capital on Saturday.

In east London's Bethnal Green district, convenience store owner Adnan Butt, 28, said the situation was still tense.

"People are all at home - they're scared," he said.