UK riots: Trouble erupts in English cities

UK riots: Trouble erupts in English cities

Sporadic violence has broken out in several cities around England, although London remained largely quiet with a heavy police presence on the streets.With 16,000 police officers deployed in London, the streets remained calm after three previous nights of rioting.

But there was unrest in cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham with shops being looted and set alight.The PM is recalling Parliament over Monday night’s “sickening scenes”.Some 108 people have been arrested so far over trouble in Manchester and Salford where crowds of youths have set fire to buildings and cars while 87 have been arrested over disorder which has broken out across the West Midlands.

In other developments:
* Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said his force had faced “extraordinary levels of violence from groups of criminals intent on committing widespread disorder” on Tuesday. Many police cordons that were around the area were lifted just before 02:00 BST

* Some 23 people have been charged in the West Midlands with a total of 229 arrests following sporadic disorder in Wolverhampton, while youths have smashed shop windows and set cars alight in nearby West Bromwich

* In Birmingham, riot police surrounded the Mailbox, the city’s high-end shopping centre, following the disturbances seen in the area on Monday night.

* Canning Circus police station in central Nottingham was firebombed by a male gang on Tuesday evening

* In Liverpool, Merseyside Police have arrested 50 people in relation to disorder in the city

* Three people have been arrested in Gloucester after police officers came under attack from youths throwing rocks and bottles from 23:00 BST

* In Leicester, a group of up to 100 youths attacked shops and threw items at police

* Metropolitan Police have arrested 768 people and charged 105 in connection with the violence in the capital, including a 21-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life following a fire which took hold of the Reeves Furniture store in Croydon on Monday night

* A 26-year-old man found shot in a car in Croydon, amid rioting in the south London town, has died in hospital

* Government minister Michael Gove has praised Met’s response to the riots, saying bringing in an extra 10,000 officers helped to prevent further riots from taking place in London

* Meanwhile, two 18-year-olds were arrested in Folkestone, Kent, and a 16-year-old boy in Glasgow was charged with breach of the peace while another man, aged 18, has been arrested. All relate to allegations of inciting violence through internet social networking sites

* The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said on Tuesday that ballistic tests presented “no evidence” that a handgun found at the scene where Mr Duggan was killed had been fired at officers

Some 111 Met officers have suffered injuries including serious head and eye wounds, cuts and fractured bones after being attacked by rioters wielding bottles, planks, bricks and even driving cars at them. Five police dogs have also been hurt.However, Scotland Yard has drafted in special constables and community support officers to ensure five times the usual number of officers for a Tuesday will be on duty. Similar staffing levels will be maintained over three days. David Cameron, who will chair a meeting of the Cabinet’s emergency committee Cobra for the second day running at 09:00 BST, met officers in the Met Police’s Gold command in Lambeth on Tuesday afternoon, before speaking to emergency service personnel in Croydon.

He condemned the “sickening scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing”.He told rioters: “You will feel the full force of the law. And if you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishment.”The recall of Parliament on Thursday will allow MPs to “stand together in condemnation of these crimes and to stand together in determination to rebuild these communities”, he said.The prime minister returned early from his holiday in Tuscany to discuss the unrest, which first flared on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, by police.

London has seen a wave of “copycat criminal activity” since the initial disturbance, the Met Police said.Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said the use of plastic bullets – never before fired to deal with riots in England – would be “considered carefully” in the event of further disorder.But he added: “That does not mean we are scared of using any tactic.”Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin had earlier ruled out calling in the Army.Officers believe some rioters have used BlackBerry Messenger – a service allowing users to send free real-time messages – to organise violence.Monday’s disturbances included:

* Violence and looting reported across London, including in Hackney, Croydon, Clapham Junction, Peckham, Lewisham, Stratford and Ealing

* Three people being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder after a police officer was injured by a car in Wembley, north-west London, while trying to stop suspected looters

* Buildings set alight in several areas, including Croydon where part of the Tramlink service was suspended

* In Birmingham, 138 people were arrested after scores of youths smashed windows and looted shops in the shopping area

* West Midlands Police said a police station in Holyhead Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, was set alight

* Up to 200 youths with masks roamed through Toxteth in Liverpool, while Bristol police said they dealt with outbreaks of disorder involving about 150 people

* A Nottinghamshire police station was attacked in the St Ann’s area and 200 tyres were set alight in the street

* Police dealt with “small pockets of disorder” in the Chapeltown area of Leeds

The Association of British Insurers says the damage is likely to cost insurers “tens of millions of pounds”.Monday’s violence started in Hackney, north London, at about 16:20 BST after a man was stopped and searched by police, who found nothing.Groups of people began attacking officers, wrecking cars with wooden poles and metal bars, and looting shops. Violence then flared separately in other parts of the capital.
‘No justification’

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who also cut short a holiday to return, was heckled by the members of the public while viewing damage in Clapham Junction on Tuesday.Some people have complained there have been too few police to deal with the violence.Mr Johnson told those gathered that those responsible for the violence “face punishment they will bitterly, bitterly regret”However, when challenged to do more for communities, Mr Johnson rejected “economic or social justifications” for the violence. – BBC