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 405.

    I have lived all over the UK, good and bad areas, in education and work. I now live in a safe little Sussex village... but even now I look at my house and wonder... what do I need to do to protect it and my family. I can imagine many other people are feeling equally as insecure. This does not bode well. I don't want a police state, but I don't want the country overrun by criminal yobs either.

  • rate this

    Comment number 404.

    This lawlessness is not a political struggle. The middle East struggles for FREEDOM were from tyrany and oppresion. We have FREEDOM but there are too many people in this country with no moral background. It starts with love, discipline, good parenting and respect for your elders. Most of the people involved in the violence are young..Where were your children last night? They are our future.

  • Comment number 403.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 402.

    Imagine if this was happneing a year from now, with 11 days to the opening ceremony of London 2012. The whole world is either here or watching.

    Do you think Theresa May would be talking of 'consensus policing' (whatever that means) and doing precisely nothing?

  • rate this

    Comment number 401.

    These riots are shocking and disgusting. People are waking up to seeing their businesses and livelihoods trashed for no justifiable reason. London is supposed to be a showcase to the world in a year's time when we host the Olympics but right now our beautiful capital is a war zone and quite frankly I'm ashamed to be a Londoner.

  • rate this

    Comment number 400.

    Money won't change their view that stealing is acceptable, wealthy people avoid taxes (100 billion?). I don't blame any cuts. Force may stop the riots but not change the views which started them. The army can't help that much. These kids are (mostly) as guilty as the parents that brought them up. They don't believe what they are doing is really wrong. They will justify it to themselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 399.

    bring in the military, because this isn't funny. This isn't vandalism, this is destruction and violence, and the thugs aren't being punished. Police should be much more aggressive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 398.

    People and the police are being badly let down by the leadership (police & government), and by years of weak, liberal-minded, left-leaning policies that are fine in countries where the people are, themselves, of that persuasion.
    Having spent a deal of time abroad, in many countries, I find the British to be (comparatively) intolerant and aggressive, and such policies simply do not work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 397.

    Are you sure you want to make those cuts to the Police service now Mr Cameron?
    Bring the troops home & deploy them on the streets if needed.
    This is just mindless organised violence without a cause.

  • rate this

    Comment number 396.

    I expect the BBC's trendy leftie reporters and editors are very busy right now.......imploring the usual bleeding hearts brigade to appear on screen and radio, offering them a platform to justify and "understand" last nights violence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 395.

    This proves London, kids are evil trouble makers..... We need to come down hard on the whole generation, more laws, rules, more stop and search, youths should only be in groups of 2. Darcus Howe was the only interview with any worth, but he didn't tow the BBC story line and was cut off. Impartial reporting? Riots and criminality is wrong but if we refuse to except that it is inevitable thats worse

  • rate this

    Comment number 394.

    A special thank you to Theresa May for being so committed to doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR 3 DAYS.

    Can we have someone in authority with a backbone please?

  • Comment number 393.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 392.

    I have watched the coverage of events in London with disgust.
    The bleatings of politicians and their hand wringing, such lines as "Robust policing" and "brave police officers", (undoubtedly true true though) are, sadly, essentially empty rhetoric.
    The bottom line is if it takes rubber bullets or water cannons then so be it. Will it take somebody to die trapped in a fire before this sinks in?

  • rate this

    Comment number 391.

    So whilst we have soliders fighting for their lives in very difficult conditions in other parts of the world, we have mindless idiots who think that they can take the law into their own hands. These people who are rioting do not realise how fortunate they are in the UK. Let's put them out in Afghanistan to walk over minefields - then see how brave they really are. Just grow up and get real

  • rate this

    Comment number 390.

    Having lived in England for a couple of years, I've found out that a significant (in terms of youngness, not quantity, don't know numbers) part of youth people were grown up with the minimum level of education&living in the sideline.

    People living in state's monthly aid only, drinking&bullying, giving births to 14y.o.girls.A large majority of UK people acted like it's not their business.

  • rate this

    Comment number 389.

    It is time for the water cannon and tear gas for these thugs,
    Curfews in inner cities that are experiencing this and arrest and criminal records if you break it without reason
    Bring in the military
    I am sick and tried of the ‘frustrated and marginalised youth’ rubbish, just an excuse to replace that old TV for free and maybe attack the Police for no other reason than they want to!

  • rate this

    Comment number 388.

    We had this in the 80's when the right wing tories were in power!

  • rate this

    Comment number 387.

    The police are the catalyst to the London riots! As there is no looting without riots, and no riots without a protest or an demonstration to feed off first! If the police had not chalked up such a terrible record of executions/ killings of suspects off late! and many unanswered questions of executions By the police where the police investigations/ IPCC always seem to come up empty? caused this!

  • rate this

    Comment number 386.

    To me this looks like people who were looking for an excuse to cause madness. Yes the government cuts have not been easy, yet they have hit everyone. Crimes are not punished plus more people on benefits who have no desire to get jobs which leads to people just waiting for an excuse to cause trouble, and why not if there are no consequences? Is this the face of the future if we don't crack down?


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