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.


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  • Comment number 2126.

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

  • Comment number 2125.

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 2122.

    Only problem with that is, the generation above them will probably have to work into their 80s and beyond unless we continue to buy in talent from abroad, because we have a generation of illiterate, ill-bred, unemployable thugs to follow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2121.

    I don't understand the delay in using water canons, are we British so reserved, our police need support and the rioters continue to mock them. Water isn't going to harm them and may even shock some of them to realizing the authority's can do something! Or has government bureacracy bound us all up so much? Please leaders, lead, the rioters are crying out for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2120.

    Mothers have been pressured to leave young children in child care and go out to work


    Me and my brothers were left with a neighbour when we were kids while our mum did three jobs. Strangely this has not left me with the overwhelming urge to have 20 identical sports shirts or a roll of cheap carpet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2119.

    Maybe all these PC lefties and the woolly-hat brigade would now like to help clean the mess up...after all it's partly their fault. Young people have too many rights today and they know it. Also didn't blair publicly denounce marriage and two-parent families when he was in power? What a lovely society we now have as a result.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2118.

    Lefties - stop blaming cuts and Cameron. (No, I'm not Con) These looters have never read a paper or watched news in their lives.
    It's decades of decline in family, discipline and dependancy on welfare.
    Give teachers more power in the classroom.
    Scrap asbos. Make absent parents responsible for their children.
    Who wants to take bets the majority of kids in these photos have no dad at home.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2117.

    DC is taking a hypocritical stance about society, his party have done everything in their power to alienate and cut funding to communities and their residents. We are ruled by corrupt politicians, a corrupt police force, a corrupt media who have stolen more than TV sets or training shoes from the British people. Get rid of them all and start again and lets help the victims of the past few days.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2116.

    How would Watt Tyler be reported today?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2115.

    what free education.
    It used to give people the right to free education but now if you want to learn anything other than the basics you end up paying atleast 30K thanks to the money grabbing tories.

    Every time the tories get into power England burns not just occasionally EVERYTIME
    Ask yourself why its only when the tories get into power and you may well be 1/2 way to the truth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2114.

    The country is in a mess left by the last incompetent 'government' whose policies have left us financially and morally bankrupt. Thanks Gordon, hope you enjoy your retirement and of course blame the Tories who have to sort this mess out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2113.

    first they came for my friend,i did nothing,then they came for my nieghbour, i did nothing,today they came for me....

  • rate this

    Comment number 2112.


    ( Drs Evans and Francis, South London)

  • rate this

    Comment number 2111.

    Whilst the news focuses on the disorder, violence & looting, we should remember who started this. Yet another killing of a man by the police, who continue using a shoot-to-kill policy ...This latest unjustifiable killing by the police was without a shred of doubt the flashpoint...
    1 We don't know all the facts.
    2 Why did he have a gun.
    3 How do new trainers make it better?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2110.

    2054.Chris B - Slough

    And, the way to express your grievances with the police, is to rob shops of all their stock, followed by arson? I'm sorry, but how can you possibly suggest all these riots are related to Duggan's shooting?

    We don't know the facts of it yet, either. You're far too quick to judge it unwarranted, when we know a second gun was involved in some way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2109.

    2066.matt.Unfortunatelly, you are right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2108.

    Cont.. Ideally the spray would contain a distinctive and long lasting stain along with unique molecules (see SelectaDNA Spray) specific to each spray device, so you could subsequently identify offenders by sight and then use the unique spray to establish which location they were in at the time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2107.

    Would it be possible for the Police to use some kind of dye, paint or marker spray to "tag" these "rioters" (looters/thugs/muggars) so that even if the Police do not have the numbers to catch everyone at the time of an incident it will be easy to identify those who were present for several days to come.


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