Riots erupt in Birmingham: Police make 130 arrests


Rioting erupted in Birmingham, with a police station set on fire and stores looted in what police described as "mindless thuggery".

Trouble flared around the station in Holyhead Road, Handsworth, and also involved police cars being targeted.

Shops damaged in the city centre included a McDonald's restaurant and an Armani store at the Mailbox centre.

About 130 were arrested, some of which Chief Constable Chris Sims described as "astonishingly young".

There were 700 to 800 people on the streets last night outnumbering police two to one, the West Midlands Police chief added.

'Run amok'

More than 400 officers will be on duty on Tuesday evening with shifts extended from eight to 12 hours.

Thirteen people out of 28 injured on Monday night seen by crews went to hospitals, the ambulance service said.

Several premises were attacked with shop windows smashed and property stolen in various locations in the centre as well as some surrounding areas.

media captionChief Constable of West Midlands Police, Chris Sims: ''This was not an angry crowd, this was a greedy crowd''

A heavy police presence was seen in the city from late afternoon. Some shops in the city centre closed early.

BBC reporter Grant Sherlock said the window of Mills City Express store, in Colmore Row, was smashed by youths wielding a bin.

He said some had then run into the store before emerging with goods in their hands.

Vans of police in riot gear soon arrived and the youths dispersed.

At a press conference earlier on Tuesday, Mr Sims said pictures of all offenders would be posted on the police's website in a bid to identify them.

Shortly after, another group broke through the metal security shutter of the Jessops store in Temple Row and cameras and electrical equipment were taken from inside, he said.

In New Street, a front window of the Adidas store was smashed and empty coat hangers littered the street outside.

'Twitter intelligence'

Another eyewitness, Chris Scrivens, said youths had "run amok" in the grounds around the cathedral.

"I saw one guy put a window through of a shop. Another one picked up the debris.

"They were kicking over motorcycles," he said.

Police in riot gear were positioned in several parts of the city centre, with some advising onlookers to get off the streets.

image captionThe Pandora jewellers shop in Birmingham city centre was attacked

Arrests were made for various offences, including violent disorder and aggravated burglary.

Some parts of the city centre remain cordoned off as forensic officers examine scenes of disorder.

But all roads are open and the city is "open for business as usual", police said.

Police said they had been aware of "Twitter intelligence" from lunchtime on Monday, suggesting there would be trouble in the city during the evening.

Later on Monday, at 23:45 BST, the West Midlands force confirmed the police station in Holyhead Road was on fire.

The force also reported some of its cars had come under attack in the street.

Ambulance crews were called to 34 incidents, the majority of which were reports of people being assaulted.

image captionLooters ransacked this shop in the city centre

Assistant chief ambulance officer Tracey Morrell said: "The majority of incidents have been as a result of assaults, but thankfully most have not been too serious."

There were no reports of any serious injuries as a result of the disorder, police said.

Shabana Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said the incidents in Birmingham had been "mindless criminality".

She said: "Obviously we have to have a debate and consider whether there are underlying reasons and learn some of the lessons potentially from some of these incidents as well."

Councillor Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of the city council, said the authority was making every effort possible to clear up any damage and bring normality back to the city.

He said earlier: "We'd stress to retailers, workers and shoppers alike that the city remains very much open for business and would encourage them to come in as normal."

More on this story

Related Internet Links

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