Merseyside sees second night of rioting

Smithdown Road in Liverpool A rioter walks through a burning barricade in Smithdown Road in Liverpool

A second night of violence and disorder broke out on Merseyside overnight.

Police arrested 50 people - more than half of them teenagers - in trouble which spread across Wavertree, Birkenhead and Bootle.

Four fire engines had to be taken out of service after they were damaged by missile-throwing youths in Lawrence Road in south Liverpool.

Eight people in Cheshire were arrested on suspicion of inciting disorder over comments posted on social media.

The violence in Merseyside began when a crowd attempted to smash into a cash machine with a mechanical digger in Bootle.

A woman cycles past a burnt out car on Lawrence road in Wavertree Cars were set on fire in Wavertree

There were stand-offs with police in Smithdown Road, in the south of the city, with a large group of up to 200 youths causing disorder and criminal damage.

Smithdown Road and Lodge Lane were closed at about 22:30 BST and people were told to avoid the area.

A gang of youths tried to break into the Asda in Smithdown Road but were contained by police.

There were reports of shops, pubs and cars being damaged in Birkenhead.

Merseyside Police said 100 youths were in Park Road South, Birkenhead, vandalising cars.

Windows were smashed at McDonald's in the Charing Cross area of the town and four people were arrested in Borough Road.

Petrol bombs

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said a firefighter suffered cuts to his face and neck after glass was thrown at an appliance in Smithdown Road as it made its way to a 999 call.

Dan Stephens, deputy chief fire officer, said: "It is appalling the fact that people would seek to target any members of the emergency services, whether that be police, fire or ambulance.

"There is no place for it and I would implore the individuals involved, and their families, to start demonstrating some sort of social responsibility."

At the scene

Driving into work there were very few cars on the roads.

Not one supermarket, not one general store appeared open. Liverpool's city centre bars, normally so bustling even on a Tuesday night, were closed. The place resembled a ghost town but there were no signs of trouble.

That is until I got on the road and reached the Asda on Smithdown Road to find staff trying to repair one of the entrances after a mob had unsuccessfully tried to get in.

Police had contained the rioters - said to be 50 or 60 strong - further up the road. Near the police line you could feel the tension in the air.

A burnt-out car blocked part of the road which was strewn with rocks and debris from wheelie bins.

Nervous local residents mingled with shop owners. Suddenly an old Land Rover sped out from a side road and nearly flipped over as the driver made a sudden left on to some waste ground.

Within seconds, the vehicle was in flames. I got back into my car intending to drive close to the Land Rover and get a photograph by cutting through Lawrence Road. I had to negotiate a chicane of two burning cars and a barrier of wheelie bins. I drove past a group of 30 or so youths clad in black, their faces masked.

My security minder noticed they were pouring petrol into bottles and yelled "step on it". I accelerated away, ignoring a no entry sign to reach the relative sanctuary of Upper Parliament Street.

A BBC journalist at the scene said youths were seen making petrol bombs and several cars were burnt out on the street.

Merseyside Police said 48 men and two women, aged between 14 and 52, were arrested on Tuesday night.

The arrests were for breach of the peace, five for burglary, one drunk and disorderly, one handling stolen goods, one possession of a controlled drug, and one possession of an offensive weapon.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Ward said: "The disorder, violence and damage we saw was the result of a minority of young people engaged in criminal activity and does not reflect the wider local communities, or Merseyside as a whole.

"Sadly, there has been a significant amount of criminal damage involving cars, retail premises and businesses, which has a huge impact on our communities."

Police are urging anyone with photographs or footage of the offenders to email them.

In Cheshire, of the eight arrested, a 20-year-old was later charged with intentionally encouraging the commission of an offence and will appear before Northwich magistrates later.

Five men remain in police custody and two teenagers were released without charge.

One resident living near the trouble in south Liverpool said law-abiding people needed to fight back.

"The people that are opposed to what is going on need to show that they are against it, in any little way they can, whether it is just cleaning up or just go out tonight and hold a silent protest," she said.

"There's no need to upset anyone but we need to show them that we are angry and there is no need to do it."

'Curfew' call

Merseyside Police said it had an enhanced presence across the region after Monday night's riots.

Officers had asked residents to move wheelie bins out of sight and for builders and residents to move any building materials.

Rioting raged in Liverpool for a second night

Communities were urged to keep young people off the streets.

Officers also asked petrol stations not to sell containers of fuel to anyone.

The Liverpool One shopping complex in the city centre closed early on Tuesday after two stores were vandalised.

Students at the University of Liverpool, who live in flats above shops, have been moved to temporary accommodation outside the city centre.

On Tuesday, Paul Brant, deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, said he wanted to see people "imposing a form of curfew".

"There is no decent explanation for having teenagers roaming the street in the early hours of the morning," he said.

Communities in south Liverpool spent much of Tuesday cleaning up the damage.

Volunteers came together in Toxteth after a Facebook page, Liverpool Clean Up, was created in the early hours.

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