Further riots in London as violence spreads across England

 

Amateur footage appears to show a gang of youths charging at police in south-east London

Rioting has spread across London on a third night of violence, with unrest flaring in other English cities.

An extra 1,700 police officers were deployed in London, where shops were looted and buildings were set alight.

Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol also saw violence.

The prime minister has returned early from his holiday to discuss the unrest, which first flared on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of a man by police.

At least 400 people have been arrested following a wave of "copycat criminal activity" across London over the past three days, the Met Police said. More than 69 people have been charged with various offences.

Three people are 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.

Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steven Kavanagh said it was a "shocking and appalling morning for London to wake up to".

"The Met was stretched beyond belief in a way that it has never experienced before," he told BBC Breakfast.

Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin ruled out bringing in the Army to help police tackle the violence, but said: "We will be out there in ever greater numbers tonight."

On Twitter, Scotland Yard said: "In the next 24 hours there will be 13,000 police officers on duty in London."

In other developments:

Fire crews douse burnt out buildings on London Road in Croydon, Surrey Met commander Christine Jones said the violence was "simply inexcusable"

Monday's violence started in Hackney after a man was stopped and searched by police but nothing was found.

Groups of people began attacking the police in Hackney at about 16:20 BST, throwing stones and a bin at officers.

Police cars were smashed by youths armed with wooden poles and metal bars. Looters also smashed their way into shops before being dispersed by police.

Nine police forces from other parts of the country have assisted in providing support to the capital city, as well as the City of London Police and British Transport Police.

However, eyewitnesses have reported that as trouble spread across the city, there were often few police officers around when violence flared.

BBC map showing areas of London affected by rioting
  • Several fires broke out in Croydon, including one at a large sofa factory which spread to neighbouring buildings and tram lines
  • Police found a 26-year-old man in a car in Croydon suffering from gunshot wounds. He is in a serious condition in hospital
  • In Hackney 200 riot officers with dogs and mounted police were located around Mare Street where police cars were damaged
  • The area's MP, Diane Abbott, said a London-wide curfew should be considered
  • Looters raided a Debenhams store and a row of shops in Lavender Hill in Clapham, as well as shops in Stratford High Street
  • Police used armoured vehicles to push back more than 150 people in the Lavender Hill area
  • A Sony warehouse in Solar Way, Enfield, a shopping centre in Woolwich New Road, a timber yard in Plashet Grove, East Ham and a building on Lavender Hill were all on fire
  • More than 100 people looted a Tesco store in Bethnal Green, the Met said, and two officers were injured
  • Cars were set on fire in Lewisham
  • A bus and shop were set alight in Peckham
  • Buses were diverted as the violence spread to Bromley High Street
  • There were reports of looting of phone shops in Woolwich High Street, in south-east London, and set a police car on fire
  • Shops and restaurants were damaged in Ealing, west London, and there was a fire in Haven Green park opposite Ealing Broadway Tube
  • Carling Cup matches at Charlton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bristol City, which were due to be played on Tuesday, have all been postponed at the request of the police
  • A friendly between England and Holland at Wembley on Wednesday was also called off
  • At Clapham Junction looters stole masks from a fancy dress store to hide their identity
Looters in a convenience store in Hackney Shops have been looted across the capital

Catherine Holmes, a resident in Hackney, said: "The common feeling in Hackney Central is that our community has been hurt and damaged by causeless violence.

"We spoke to looters trying to get home - the only explanation they gave for their behaviour was that they had no money today.

"It is sad to think that these people are thinking of only the next moment, and the moment they have created is a nightmare."

'War zone'

Ealing resident Christian Potts, 29, was driving through the area when he witnessed the disturbances.

"It looks like a war zone - I have never seen anything like it in all my life," he said.

"There were about 25 to 30 masked youths on Haven Green and they just started tearing into a florist with bricks.

Clapham Junction resident Nick Shaw escaped unhurt from his home which was set ablaze

"It's a local family-run business so I can't see why they are doing this."

London's mayor Boris Johnson is cutting short his holiday to return to the city.

Home Secretary Theresa May also returned early from holiday, to meet Met chiefs to discuss their response to the violence.

"These have been the worst scenes of violence and disturbance on our streets for many, many years, and this sort of violence, this level of criminality, this thuggery, this looting, this theft, is completely unacceptable," Ms May told BBC Breakfast.

"We can deal with it. We can deal with it with robust policing, with good use of intelligence, but also with the help and support of local communities."

She added: "If there's anybody who knows somebody who was out on those streets last night and involved in this action then they should tell the police."

The trouble follows two nights of violence over the weekend which started after police shot a man dead in Tottenham.

A peaceful protest in Tottenham on Saturday over the death of Mark Duggan, 29, was followed by violence which spread into this week.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 383.

    Where is your "Big Society" now Mr. Cameron? In the face of cuts everywhere, you've allowed the country to fall apart whilst you photo-op with Italian waitresses.

    Look at history - you can't cut your way out of recession, and you can't just cross your fingers and hope everyone else does your job for you. The Police Service needs to become the Police Force again and sort out these stealing scum.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 376.

    Being 19, I know that potentially there can be a lot of people out to cause trouble, and this is probably an excuse to get to have a mob like the student protests.
    There very well may a handful of people that were genuinely protesting against the incident, but it's obvious there's no genuine protest going on. Younger people do not think about the police when committing crime. They don't care.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 373.

    Thee's no respect from most youths of today and the mindless violence has shown this. Bring in military service for males aged 17-19 for at least a year to teach them discipline, good manners and to respect society which they probably didn't get from their families
    Youths talk about how they have no future, no jobs and live in deprivation - they'll get no sympathy with actions of last 3 nights.

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 295.

    I feel ashamed for our country and have sympathy for all the vast majority of law abiding citizens to have to witness such events.
    A do hope the Prime Minister and others use ALL measures to regain control and bring the criminals to justice. We need to learn a few lessons from our friends in other countries like France whose police forces use a show of strength to exercise control.

  • rate this
    +42

    Comment number 219.

    We need to stop blaming the police/government cuts/public policy. Fundamentally, it is the youths that are creating this violence and we should not be making excuses for them. Under no circumstances is it justifiable to attack and mug innocent people, regardless of whether they are angry about what the government has or has not done.

 

Comments 5 of 25

 

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