British Prime Minister David Cameron recalled Parliament from its summer recess Tuesday and tripled the number of police on the streets of London to deal with the crisis touched off by three days of rioting.
Cameron described the scenes of burning buildings and smashed windows in London and several other British cities as "sickening," but refrained from more extreme measures such as calling in the military to help beleaguered police restore order.
Instead, he said 16,000 officers would be on the streets of the capital Tuesday night - almost tripling the number on the streets Monday night.
"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," Cameron told reporters after a crisis meeting at his Downing Street office.
A wave of violence and looting raged across London, as authorities struggled to contain the country's worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s. Some 450 arrests have been made.