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 425.

    Four cars burnt out in Sherwood Gardens, Isle of Dogs, people evacuated from their homes as there was danger of cars exploding and buildings catching fire - and this wasn't even considered to be worth a mention on the news. Sherwood Gardens is a quiet back street! It makes you wonder how many other incidents are occurring around the capital that have not even been mentioned in the media.

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    The police do a great job but must stop the stand-off approach as seen yesterday when a handful of youths attacked a shop while a large number of police stood at a distance and did nothing and allowed it to escalate. Police...change your tactics and get in and deal with these people. Don't just watch but deal with them swiftly and quickly.!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    This could actually get pretty messy. The scum you see running around looting everything are kids and young adults with absoulutely no prospects. The UK has allowed too many minor incidents go un punished in the past and these young kids have now grown up knowing there are no repercussions for their actions.Something has got to change, as we can't and will not tollerate this scum any longer

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    It's the third day of chaos, it's spreading to more cities, it's the time to take actions! Mr. Cameron held this meeting with this guy, another meeting with another guy, but, it's not a time for any more meetings! It's time for him to show leadership to crack down the riots!
    The thugs start to attack innocent people, this government will be abandoned by people if they continuously do nothing!

  • Comment number 421.

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

  • Comment number 420.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    As someone working in the health service I find today's news profoundly upsetting - we are already short of funds. I see all this wanton distruction and think of even more difficulties funding services such a midwifery, care of the elderly, support for the disabled, cancer services, heart failure nurses, diabetic clinics and the list goes on. It brings me near to tears.

  • rate this

    Comment number 418.

    for those suggesting sending these people to afghanistan or national service, are we not cutting jobs in the army?

  • rate this

    Comment number 417.

    Camerons Tory Britain. The 80s all over again - anyone who didn't see this coming is either too young to remember or stupid. Dont they realise these hooligans know that resources are stretched and thus take advantage? An example of how a cut somewhere has a cost elsewhere - cancalled football matches in the capital. Imagine the cost to retailers, businesses, (YES, businesses). Well done Cameron.

  • rate this

    Comment number 416.

    Any suggestion that these kids are politicized or have any legitimate agenda in any way is ridiculous. What i saw last night in Chalk Farm was mindless oppurtunitism. The kids just wanted to smash things and steal bikes. Its painfully apparent Theresa May's empty rhetoric will not improve this situation. Fast track courts, minimum custodial sentances for arsonists and looters is a start.

  • rate this

    Comment number 415.

    85. Graphis
    We only seem to get riots like this when Tories are in power.
    Could it be because it is only the Labour that builds a whole policy based on borrowing billions from international markets to pay tributes to these low-life criminals.
    If the government uses the army, I will become a life-long Tory supporter. Come on Cameron !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 414.

    I don't condone, any of the mindless acts that have taken place in our cities of late, but when members of our own government as leaders of the free world set an example by fraudulently taking money from the public purse and 'quangos' spend public money so blatantly on things like karaoke and lingerie, expecting not to be punished. Reap what you sow Mr Politician!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.

    Hundreds of people across the country out on the streets. Does anyone really think that such activity is mindless, merely opportunism? What does it take to get someone out of the house and do something potentially dangerous? There is more to this, and so far nobody seems to be asking what it might be. There is vast latent aggression in the people of the UK. From where does it stem?

  • Comment number 412.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 411.

    The dignity of the Reeves family is an outsanding & laudable. To hear the elder Mr Reeves talk of serving the community through his business is a contribution to society that I wish those currently destroying that same community could understand.

  • rate this

    Comment number 410.

    No respect of the law and no real deterrents are the cause of all this mayhem. Does anybody seriously think that the death of a person when being arrested is linked to plasma TV's being stolen? Wake up Britain our society is at risk by do gooders who actually make the situation worse by justifying the reasons why some people are just plain criminals who'd rather not get educated or work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 409.

    The criminals need to be punished with no mercy shown to them. All rioters be arrested and transfered to the Army Camps for at least one year. During this period they should only get food, clothing and shelter and housed in tenets. During the day they should be working on various construction projects to become bricklayers, plumbers and electricians and earn their livings through legal means.

  • rate this

    Comment number 408.

    There is a huge lesson to be learned here - and the Government needs to learn from it NOW ! No more "holding talks" - take some action and stop this situation immediately. Give back to the Police the authority that they need to deal with this kind of thing - the thugs who are rioting and looting aren't "soft", so why are we treating them with kid gloves? STOP THIS NOW.

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    Theresa May. Watching CCTV and 'bringing them to justice' Is Not Enough! Policing is about stopping crime happening as well as solving. And what justice, a fine!? She has a duty to keep us safe, she is failing. I hope that Cameron doesn't dare tell the country that is our responsibility to shoulder the burden of the cost of this clear up when the government is so dithering and ineffective.

  • rate this

    Comment number 406.

    A lot of people on here moaning about the lack of police action against the thugs, yobs, and looters - didn't see you out there defending the streets, in fact I didn't see anybody out there defending anything (apart from a few police defending themselves!).
    Might give you a clue as to why this country's in the state it is.


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