UK riots: Trouble erupts in English cities


Police try to tackle masked youths in Manchester

Sporadic violence has broken out in several cities around England, although London stayed largely quiet overnight.

There was unrest in cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham, with shops being looted and set alight.

Three men died when they were hit by a car in Birmingham - locals claimed they were protecting their neighbourhood.

Greater Manchester Police's assistant chief constable said officers had faced "unprecedented levels of violence".

London Mayor Boris Johnson urged the government to reconsider its plans to cut police numbers, saying the argument had been "substantially weakened" by the riots.

GMP's ACC Garry Shewan said he had seen "the most sickening scenes" of his career, and said the force had been overwhelmed.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday morning he said GMP was "absolutely intent" on bringing the rioters to justice and officers were already studying CCTV.

"Hundreds and hundreds of people, we have your image, we have your face, we have your acts of wanton criminality on film. We are coming for you, from today and no matter how long it takes, we will arrest those people responsible," he said.

Some 113 people have been arrested so far over the trouble in Manchester and Salford, where hundreds of youths looted shops and set fire to cars and buildings.

Three dead

In the West Midlands, 109 have been arrested and 23 charged following scenes of disorder in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich - where vehicles were set on fire.

Meanwhile, West Midlands Police have started a murder inquiry after the deaths of the three pedestrians hit by a car.

In Birmingham, riot police surrounded the Mailbox, the city's upmarket shopping centre, following the disturbances seen in the area on Monday night.

In other developments:

Wounded officers

Scotland Yard drafted in special constables and community support officers in London to ensure five times the usual number of officers for a Tuesday - 16,000 - were on duty. They made 81 arrests.

UK riots: How Monday's night of violence unfolded

Downing Street said the increased level of policing would remain in place "as long as necessary" to prevent a repeat of the violence.

It said while there was "no complacency," police tactics in London had "clearly worked".

It followed three nights of rioting in the city which saw shops looted, property set alight and police attacked, with some 111 Met officers 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.

The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Kavanagh said London deserved "some resilience and sustainability from police".

'Stand together'

David Cameron, who is chairing a meeting of the cabinet's emergency committee Cobra for the second day running, 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".

Start Quote

This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers”

End Quote Boris Johnson London Mayor

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."

Parliament was being recalled on Thursday, which would 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.

DAC 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.

Referring to proposed police cuts, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "That case was pretty frail and it's been substantially weakened. This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers."

Labour leader Ed Miliband called for a "rapid response" from the government to help affected communities.

He urged the government to work with the insurance industry "to put in place fast-track procedures with immediate effect so that individuals and businesses making claims do not have to wait for the money they need to start putting things right".

The Association of British Insurers says the damage is likely to cost insurers "tens of millions of pounds".

Monday's disturbances included:

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.

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.


More on This Story

England riots

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 2046.

    1964. hmg "Disappointed, disaffected and alienated from society. Well what do you expect? Mothers have been pressured to leave young children in child care and go out to work."

    Ha ha ha ha! In that culture responsible for this, nobody works, let alone the mother! Hilarious! Do you have any idea what has happened and who is doing this? And these phrases you use, what do they actually mean?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2045.

    Thank you for your comment. It's not relevant, mature or welcome. Grow up a little.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2044.


    Brilliant comment - you see BBC, politiicians, 'stars' ... vacuous air headed double dealing second rate law flouting cheating useless idiots in charge are seen as a problem by others as well as me - thank God I'm not the only one

  • rate this

    Comment number 2043.

    dancingcat: "Irresponsible hate-filled people talking about sub-human vermin, scum, uncontrolled breeding, one parent families, shoot to kill, deportation, conscription, etc. – shame on you. When a proportion of these looters turn out to be white middle-class kids, will it be different rules for them or will they be lined up against the wall too?"

    Same rules. But why focus on the 10% not 90%?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2042.

    Only when a judge's house is attacked, and he and his family are beaten up, we might actually get some common sense back into the courts. It is the Judges who screw it up for the police, and consequently, the public they try to protect (within the law).
    All law ultimately comes from the barrel of a gun.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2041.

    Why is it that the incompetants running our nation & in control of national & police security ALWAYS learn from their own NEGLIGENCE after the fact.

    With so many £BILLIONS spent on police & army etc, WHY IS IT that they fail so endemically to deal with REAL LIFE THREATS.

    WHERE is the so called emergency planning strategys.

    WHERE is the competance.


  • rate this

    Comment number 2040.

    AS with propaganda concerning Iraq & Afganistan, the reality is, is that local communitys in UK are experiencing FACTS & REALITYS which do NOT correspond with government/police/establishment statements.

    Get the army involved in a subterfuge operation, disguised with hoodys etc but STOP poncing around letting ENEMYS OF BRITISH PEOPLE control the creation of CHAOS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2039.

    Two words: Enoch Powell.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2038.


    1. The poverty you speak of is relative, not absolute
    2. None of these rioters were made redundant by Thatcher, they were not even born
    3. One way out of poverty is to work hard - in ALL its senses, not all will make it, that's life
    4. All rioters had the opportunity of education
    5. Poverty does not confer the right of criminality, or any other rights for that matter

  • rate this

    Comment number 2037.

    This looting has nothing to do with being poor - most poor are law-abiding citizens. These rioters are organised by people with expensive BlackBerries and data-subscriptions. These are hoodlums attacking ordinary citizens and their actions need to extinguished with significant force. I would even go as far as supporting a curfew with police having the authority to shoot active looters in the leg.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2036.

    "If a man does not work, neither should he eat." Idleness is the problem.
    They should be sent to farms to do hard manual labour for 12hrs a day. Plenty of foreigners do it here. If they don't go, their benefits are scrapped. Once there, if they don't fill their quota, they don't get fed. once having spent their energies doing this, they will start to value thier work and hence the work of others.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2035.

    It is time that honest communities take their fate in their hands: know your neighbors, get organized, train yourself in protecting your street. If a band of thugs comes from a rampage and see 100 shop or home owners barricaded and ready to fight back, with pepper gas and cameras running, they will turn away... call it vigilantes if you wish, I call it self preservation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2034.

    These young people are angry and disappointed by the society they live in. Our society is divided into the 'haves' and the 'have nots'.
    It's divided into the 'will' & the 'will nots', some people are just not prepared to work for what they want in life. Everyone is given (free) an education in this country, some choose another path - they are the problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2033.

    Tory cuts have only harmed these communities, not helped them. This is the result.

    Please stop trying to political point score, it's just sad. This is nothing but waton violence. The very same community halls provided by the last socialist government were the ones burnt to the ground by the scum brats of that community. It's just pathetic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2032.

    thank god londons is safe.we can all rest easy take care of our policemen who are sorting you out,we don't need any north of the watford poor people,you suffer so much our hearts are breaking in the affluent parts of GB. we share your pain.i do hope boris cleans up the city with his asda broom,he did look dignified,did'nt he?you are so luky to have such a man as mayor..

  • rate this

    Comment number 2031.


    There's no way out of poverty?

    So...the education right of everyone up until the age of 16, then college and university if you get the grades, social security, child tax credits, the job centre and hard work aren't legitimate ways, to you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2030.

    To tackle this problem, one way is to start a luxury allowance for the people who looted and rioted, so that they can fulfil their wish and desire without risking the community, at taxpayers cost. The other way is to start a robust system of policing, parenting, teaching and mandatory army service if not in full time education. Now it is up to the politicians which way the society should go.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2029.

    I was born in Wood Green & went to Comp school there in the 80s. I have known rich people who waste their time snorting coke, displaying possessions, & justifying tax havens AND others who scrounge off benefits, & insincerely adopt Marxist ideas to justify their anti-social behaviour. Morality is a private AND public matter. Justice is about what we collectively value as a public good. Look around

  • rate this

    Comment number 2028.

    Mark Duggan's death.

    The police have said there is :"no evidence that the handgun found at the scene was fired"

    Why are they not more specific about where the gun was found? Was it in his jacket, his hand, next to his body, or outside the car and yards away?

    One is left wondering whether Duggan had anything to do with the gun, such is the incertitude of the police statement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2027.

    "No Opportunities!!!" ... "Have's and Have Nots!!!" ... you have to make your own opportunities. And the best way to do that is EDUCATION!!! ... This country gives people the right to free education ... many countries do not. These yobs have made a choice not to bother with school/college/uni .. they have made their own hell and want us all to share it with them!!!!


Page 6 of 108


More UK stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.