Rioters identified on CCTV face eviction say councils
- 10 August 2011
- From the section Manchester
Rioters in Manchester and Salford have been told that they face being evicted from their council homes if they are identified on CCTV footage.
Both city councils have issued warnings that if any of their tenants or their children have been involved in violence or looting they will be "thrown out".
Meanwhile Greater Manchester Police said the first two men had been jailed for riot-related disorder offences.
It is understood they received sentences of 10 and 16 weeks.
Councillor Paul Andrews from Manchester City Council said: "If you are a tenant of any of our properties, and you or your children are found to be involved in the looting we will use whatever powers are available to us to make sure you are thrown out.
"Most people who live in our properties respect their neighbours and play by the rules.
"Those who do not, and who are found to be involved in this sickening criminal activity, could find their tenancies at risk."
Officers from Salford and its housing provider, Salix Homes, are reviewing CCTV images to see if they can help identify offenders.
Councillor John Merry, leader of Salford City Council, said: "Anyone who can do this to their own city is not welcome in Salford.
"We need to make sure these people understand their actions do have consequences, and the consequences for some of them could mean they lose their homes."
GMP said that extra magistrates' courts were sitting throughout the evening to deal with the number of riot hearings expected.
Through Twitter it said the two jail sentences were "swift justice" and "the first of many".
The jailed men were a 38-year-old who received 10 weeks for using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour; and an 18-year-old who was sentenced to 16 weeks in youth custody for the same offence.
Meanwhile footage has appeared on the YouTube website which appears to show police with batons hit a suspected rioter in Manchester.
It is unclear when the incident on Jutland Street, close to Manchester Piccadilly railway station, took place.
In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said its officers were faced with extraordinary and unprecedented levels of violence.
It went on to say that, as the circumstances surrounding footage of the incident were unknown it was inappropriate to comment further.
Manchester's Arndale Centre announced on its website that it closed at 17:00 BST and will re-open for business on Thursday morning.
The centre closed at about the same time on Tuesday after a gang of 25 youths tried to smash their way into its JD Sports store.
In another development, three people have been arrested after looted items from Cash Converters were recovered at a house in Salford.
Two men, aged 22 and 27, and a 23-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of theft from Salford Shopping City.
Greater Manchester Police has admitted it was overwhelmed by the "unprecedented levels of violence" as thousands of youths looted shops in the city centre and set cars on fire.
The devastation caused prompted hundreds of people to join in a clean-up operation in the city centre, sweeping up broken glass and boarding up shop windows.
Meanwhile, Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley & Broughton, has criticised police for not doing enough to stop the trouble.
He said he believed the chief constable "has a lot to answer for".
"It was known that this was coming to Salford and Manchester, and now shops have been looted and set on fire.
"It was co-ordinated and organised by well-known criminals and gangsters.
"A lot more people should have been arrested for inciting this kind of behaviour."
Mr Stringer also questioned why police officers failed to make more arrests in the face of widespread vandalism and looting.
When people were smashing windows and setting fire to shops, people weren't being arrested," he said.
"I support the police very strongly but my side lost last night."
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said more than 1,000 officers were deployed with support from neighbourhood staff and some officers from other forces.
However, he admitted they were "overwhelmed" by the number of rioters.
"Last night's shameful destruction saw some of the worst scenes I have ever witnessed as a police officer," he said.
"We saw swarms, hundreds, in fact, thousands of people intent on criminal violence coming into the city centre.
"We were taking attacks on our officers, we were protecting property where we could, but the numbers were so large."
But Mr Shewan denied police officers "stood and watched" while crimes were committed.
"There were occasions where the crowds were so large and so violent that it would have been unsafe to deploy a handful of officers into those situations.
"It's very sad that businesses have been looted in this way and it's been a sickening night for the city centre of Manchester.
"But we say to the people of Greater Manchester we need your help in identifying the people responsible."
Councillor Paul Murphy, chair of Greater Manchester Police Authority, said: "GMP has been faced with unprecedented and widespread levels of violence and disorder and the police authority praises the force for their hard work and dedication.
"There have been many messages of support for the police over the last few hours and this support is now needed more than ever, so we can bring those responsible for attacking our cities to justice."
GMP has released pictures online of people it wants to speak to in connection with rioting in Manchester and Salford on Tuesday
The violence started at Salford Shopping City in the middle of Tuesday afternoon, where rioters attacked police and set fire to shops.
Councillor Pat Karney, of Manchester City Council, said the violence marked "one of the worst days that Manchester has ever seen".
He said children as young as nine joined in the violence.
When the BBC asked two youths why they were rioting, one responded: "Why are you going to miss the opportunity to get free stuff that's worth loads of money?"
But they also claimed it was in response to government cuts.
One added: "How many people have they arrested really, though, 10? I'm not really bothered. I'll keep doing this every day until I get caught."
GMP said they were called to 800 incidents in the city centre overnight and about 130 in Salford.
Ten officers were injured, including one who suffered a broken ankle.
Greater Manchester Fire Service reported 155 fires across the city centre and Salford.
About 100 business premises and a number of police vehicles were damaged.
A BBC radio car was set alight, as was a car belonging to a reporter.