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

    Comment number 225.

    Predictably labour are pointing to the cuts as the reason for this unrest from what I have seen its feral kids who probably have no idea there are cuts in the first place. Labours throw money at problems policy clearly did not address the wider social responsibility issue.

    The Government need to take fast, decisive action to quell this criminality and restore public order.

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    If you spend just five minutes on facebook, twitter or alike, you can see that the whole of the British public, from all demographics are completely ashamed of this. If the rioters are under the impression that this is what the whole country is wanting and feeling right now, then they are sadly mistaken. All demographics are against this, it need to stop!

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    What a sad country this is.
    I am sick and tired of this country, which has changed out of all recognition in my lifetime.
    The thugs know they can get away with this. They rule Britain. When they are made to realise they can not get away with it, only then will you see any change.
    The vast majority of people in this country are waiting to see what Cameron will do. The answer is nothing!

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    Firstly these feral thieving rats that are caysing all the trouble should be shown no mercy because throwing bricks, bottles and other things can kill so they should be charged with attempted murder. Send in the troops if need be but tell them to clear the streets any way they can. The Left wing Bigots will shout about their Human Rights but most are not behaving like humans

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    I'm not at all surprised by all of this happening; in fact, I predicted this a long time ago. Basically, what has happened is, that people have lost all respect for the system that keeps us in line. What with unnecessary wars and being lied to; MPs fiddling expenses; banks getting away with putting us in recession; recent phone scandal...people have had enough. The revolution has started!

  • Comment number 220.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    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.

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    The unrest displayed through areas of our country is unacceptable, and made worse by the inflamed descriptions by the media. The Police need to be granted the rights to act in accordance with the behaviour they are confronted with.
    There is no excuse for this unacceptable behaviour or blame on parlimentary decisions past or present.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    What happens when a generation of young people have less opportunity than their parents' generation; the widest gap ever between the richest and poorest in society; witness the architects of recession (bankers) enjoying the trappings of this misery; watch the ruling political class slash public spending (with a certain sense of enjoyment).
    This is what happens.
    Sending in army = police state.

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    The Police are condemned whatever they do & the media would be first in making this condemnation. Those police officers are unable to take proper action to defend themselves & innocent members of the public. Police are not to blame, cuts are not to blame - it is the culture of gangs & criminality who are not 'misunderstood' or 'lacking opportunity' but simply mindless animals intent on violence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    At what stage does this become a popular uprising?
    Remember in Libya there was absolutely no organisational structure until the UN needed to find someone to give the guns to, lets hope these you lads aren't engineering students;

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    Not wishing to blow my own trumpet, but I predicted this years ago. Thanks to 14 years of Lefty Labour policies that allowed the underclasses to breed unchecked on run-down estates, "

    You don't think its the fact that police numbers have been decimated under the Tories I suppose ? Any one can "predict" blood on the streets so no prizes for you I'm afriad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    Who exactly are these people who are rioting? Why are they rioting? This shooting happened in London yet people are rioting in other cities! What on earth is the connection? If we have some sort of anarchic subculture then it must be wiped out. If it continues we must send in the army and impose a strict curfew. After years in N. Ireland the military are well capable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 212.

    I've had messages & calls from friends & family throughout the world who've seen these hideous images. The world thinks we've bred a generation of animals. All the small businesses that have gone, many won't have the heart to start again, it's not the insurance money, it's the blood sweat & tears you have to put in. Jobs will go, all that will be left are big chains. Very sad

  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    I think the goverment has been too consumed with handing thugs everything on a plate, from benefits to nice homes to live in so they are very use to the concept of taking what they want without working for it and without any consequences of their actions. Stronger punishments need to be put into place before more things like this start happening! This is just an excuse to take stuff for nothing!

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    How many times do we have to hear the words " We must engage with the community". We've been 'engaging with the community' for 25 years and has it done any good? NOPE. You might as well try 'engaging with the Taliban' Forget it.What we need are police with proper powers, and laws and punishments that actually act as deterents. And get rid of the sink estates where the scum breed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    Why does something extreme always have to happen before the government realises that there is something fundementally wrong with the systems in place to guide, educate and nurture the potential of the youth. Spend more money on schools, youth clubs, sports centres. Where family structures fail we should have something to replace this, give them the opportunity to better themselves!

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    I think Theresa May is living in the past our Police do a fantastic job but they are being overwhelmed they need the back up of the Army and NOW! People need to feel safe in their own homes and streets and she is not giving the reassurance that is needed! Where is the deterrent that is needed NOW not when they have sifted through the CCTV to discover who did it? She's fiddling while Rome Burns.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    I agree, National Service may sort out this bunch! Deep down, are they happy with their behaviour? Can these useless louts look at themselves in the mirror & feel pride (intimidation, drugs, pimping, theft, violence.) I'm sure their grandparents who first came to this country (& worked hard) must be turning in their graves! National service may improve their sense of self worth but pity the Army!

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    What can I say about all this! I am in shock at the lack of disregard for human live. Regardless of colour these youths involved should be bought to justice and dealt with severely not be wrapped in cotton wool!!! I was raised in Hackney live in SE now raised on council estate but have worked my way up - being poor is no excuse to take from those of us who work hard!!!! give police more powers


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