Boris Johnson’s digital adviser said it was “unbelievable” that BlackBerry Messenger, which is believed to have helped looters and rioters organise themselves, had not been closed down.

Mike Butcher, also a technology journalist described the BBM service as “text messaging with steroids”,

The service combined with Twitter helped spread the riots like a contagion, allowing marauding mobs of teenagers to organise their next point of attack over the weekend and last night.

Butcher tweeted last night: “It is unbelievable that @UK_BlackBerry is not shutting down BBM right now.”

On BBC’s Today programme this morning he added: “Mobile phones have become weaponised in their capability of spreading information about where to target next.”

"There is evidence that BBM is an encrypted, very secure, safe, fast, cheap, easy way for disaffected urban youths to spread messages for their next target,".

"It's like text messaging with steroids – you can send messages to hundreds of people and once it's gone from your phone it cannot be traced back to you," he said.

His sentiments echo that of Tottenham MP David Lammy who called for BBM to be disabled after the police shooting of local man Mark Duggan first triggered riots in Tottenham.

Blackberry said they had no plans to shut down their messenging service but the services maker Research In Motion (RIM) said that it will co-operate with police.

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