Local Time

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Police warn they could use plastic bullets to quell riots tonight as Cameron orders 16,000 officers to regain control of the capital

Prime Minister David Cameron recalls Parliament on Thursday as Government tries to quell uprising
  • Plastic bullets could be used for the first time in Britain if there are riots tonight
  • 'Unprecedented' 16,000 police on duty in London - compared with just 6,000 last night
  • Man, 26, shot in Croydon last night dies in hospital
  • Man, aged in his 60s, critically ill after clashing with rioters in Ealing
  • England game against Netherlands at Wembley tomorrow called OFF
  • 400% surge in 999 calls on night of violence with 20,800 dialling the emergency services in London
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital staff forced to barricade themselves in last night as yobs try and break in
  • Cost of clean-up expected to run into 'tens of millions'
  • Metropolitan Police use armoured vehicles to push back 150 rioters in Lavender Hill, Clapham
  • 'There are no plans for the Army to get involved,' says police chief
  • Three arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of police officer
  • 525 people arrested in total and more than 100 people have been charged
  • 16-year-old arrested on suspicion of trying to incite riots via Facebook
  • All police cells in London are now FULL
  • Copycat riots in Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool and Leeds
Last updated at 6:45 PM on 9th August 2011

Police today admitted they were prepared to use plastic bullets against rioters if a fourth night of lawlessness sees gangs of youths marauding across London and looting businesses.
With an 'unprecedented' 16,000 police officers due on the streets of London tonight, answers were today being demanded over the failure of police to bring last night's riots under control.
Just hours after David Cameron warned rioters they would face the 'full force of the law' shops were boarding up their windows across the capital amid fears of more violence across the capital. Businesses, pubs, schools and even medical centres were sending staff home early.
Disorder has already been reported tonight in Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Salford. 
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A woman can be seen jumping from a burning building in Surrey Street
A woman can be seen jumping from a burning building in Surrey Street
Croydon: A woman leaps from a burning building in Surrey Street, after flames threaten to engulf her. People stand to catch her as she jumps to safety
Hackney: Anarchy broke out last night as hooded youths set fire to cars, bins and buildings as police battled to bring them under control
Hackney: Anarchy broke out last night as hooded youths set fire to cars, bins and buildings as police battled to bring them under control
'You will feel the full force of the law': David Cameron issued a stark warning to rioters and looters as he spoke outside Number 10 today
'You will feel the full force of the law': David Cameron issued a stark warning to rioters and looters as he spoke outside Number 10 today
Around 20 police officers stood guard around the entrance to Hackney town hall, on Mare Street, in east London, which had to be evacuated this afternoon amid fears of further attacks. Managers decided to shut the Southside shopping centre in Wandsworth, south London, to avoid the risk of looting and violence.
Asked if plastic bullets could be used, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Kavanagh said: 'That's a tactic that will be used by the Metropolitan Police if deemed necessary.'
He added that he was 'not going to throw 180 years of policing with the community away' as the prospect of using the non-lethal ammunition for the first time at a British disturbance was raised.
The army of police officers on duty in London will swell to 16,000 tonight - compared with just 6,000 last night - as reinforcements are drafted in from 26 forces across the country.
Mr Kavanagh said he was sorry 'that London has got to wake up to these scenes'.
'We need to do better for London because those images last night were shocking for everyone,' Mr Kavanagh told reporters.
Every police cell in the capital was full today, forcing officers to transport suspects outside the city. 
The mayor Boris Johnson faced calls to resign from angry residents as he visited riot-hit Clapham with Home Secretary Theresa May.
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to Acting Borough Commander Superintendent Jo Oakley in Croydon this afternoon
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to Acting Borough Commander Superintendent Jo Oakley in Croydon this afternoon
Armoured Jankers lines the streets in Ealing this evening in case disorder escalates tonight
Armoured Jankers lines the streets. They will be deployed around the city tonight if trouble escalates
Ready: Another armoured vehicle speeds through Ealing
Ready: Another armoured vehicle which will be on stand-by this evening. Police said plastic bullets could be used to bring rioters under control
Mr Johnson struggled to make himself heard as he said: 'Tonight we are going to have a huge number of police on the streets.'
He added: 'It is time that people who are engaged in looting and violence stopped hearing economic and social justification for what happened.'
The mayor, who was eventually guided away from the crowds and television cameras, followed other leaders by ending his stay abroad to join efforts to quell the violence that has blighted London.

PLASTIC BULLETS COULD BE USED FOR THE FIRST TIME

Plastic bullet-firing baton gun with a live shell and a bullet from the shell
The Met Police admitted that plastic bullets could be used for the first time in mainland Britain if rioting continues.
Forces across the UK are equipped with the Heckler and Koch L104A1 Launcher weapons which fire non-lethal baton rounds - or 'plastic bullets'.
The Metropolitan Police today said although they had no plans to use ‘plastic bullets’ during any potential riots this evening, they could not rule out using them.
The new weapons were developed after older rounds were criticised because of the risks of serious injury or death if the target's upper body or head was hit.
The AEP has a collapsible nose, which the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said is designed to extend the duration of the impact while minimising the risk of injury.
In a statement from 2010, Cleveland Police said: ‘The Launcher is an impact weapon. Its intended method of operation is perhaps best described as a means of delivering a strike, similar to that from a baton, but over a greater distance.’
Police policy says officers must aim at the target’s belt buckle and fire from over one metre away. The Launcher was designed to be extremely accurate at distances of up to 30m.
However, although the weapon is a less lethal option, there is still a small chance the projectile could cause a fatality – especially if it ricocheted.
The move came despite Mr Johnson's aides previously insisting he could deal with the burgeoning crisis remotely as if 'he was sitting in his office'.
Nick Clegg was booed on a walkabout in Birmingham city centre before hurriedly being rushed into a waiting car by police and security staff.
Amid the political backlash, the riots claimed their first life as a 26-year-old man who was shot as he sat in a car during rioting in Croydon died in hospital.
Huge swathes of the capital woke up to the charred debris of burned out buildings and streets littered with waste. David Cameron has recalled Parliament for the day on Thursday as he pledged to bring the situation under control.
 

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After cutting short his Tuscany holiday to deal with the worsening public disorder crisis, the Prime Minister said today: 'We will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding.
'Let me, first of all, completely condemn the scenes that we have seen on our television screens and people have witnessed in their communities.
'These are sickening scenes - scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing, scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews as they're trying to put out fires. This is criminality, pure and simple, and it has to be confronted and defeated.
London Mayor Boris Johnson talks with a cleanup volunteer holding a broom during a visit to Clapham this afternoon where he faced a barrage of criticism


London Mayor Boris Johnson talks with a cleanup volunteer holding a broom during a visit to Clapham this afternoon where he faced a barrage of criticism
'I feel huge sympathy for the families who've suffered, innocent people who've been burned out of their houses and to businesses who have seen their premises smashed, their products looted and their livelihoods potentially ruined.
'I also feel for all those who live in fear because of these appalling scenes that we've seen on the streets of our country. People should be in no doubt that we are on the side of the law-abiding people who are appalled by what has happened in their own communities.
'I am determined, the Government is determined that justice will be done and these people will see the consequences of their actions.
Aftermath: Burnt out buildings in Croydon are doused down today after the worst night of rioting so far
Aftermath: Burnt out buildings in Croydon are doused down today after the worst night of rioting so far
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to Acting Borough Commander Superintendent Jo Oakley in Croydon, south London today
Labour leader Ed Miliband speaks with Stafford Blake from Peckham following rioting last night
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to Superintendent Jo Oakley in Croydon while Ed Miliband talks to Stafford Blake from Peckham, right, following rioting last night
Graphic charts riots Twitter activity
'And I have this very clear message to those people who are responsible for this wrongdoing and criminality: 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.'
 
Last night copycat violence broke out in LiverpoolBirmingham and Bristol, with further reports of violence in Nottingham and Leeds as it spread from the capital for the first time.
Among the most serious of incidents was the arrest of three people on suspicion of attempting to murder a police officer in north London early this morning. Armoured vehicles - known as 'Jankels' - were used to push back a mob of 150 rioters in Clapham, south London, while dozens of businesses were gutted by fire or looted until shelves were bare. 
Children aged as young as eight were reportedly seen fleeing shops with games consoles in Ealing.
A man in his 60s suffered life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by rioters after he tried to extinguish a fire they had started in a bin in Spring Bridge Road, Ealing, about 11pm, a witness said.
Commander Simon Foy, of Scotland Yard, said: 'It was quite a grave assault and his condition is causing us some concern.'
The witness, known as Jim, 40, who owns stores on The Green and Devonshire Road, said: 'I went up to Spring Bridge Road to check on my other shop and saw him on the ground.
'The rioters had set a bin alight and then they jumped on him when he tried to put it out.
'They ran away when the police arrived, and they put him in the recovery position.'
Despite 6,000 officers on the streets of London alone, many residents reported a lack of police while marauding gangs were a law unto themselves.
An 'unprecedented' number of police will be on the streets of London tonight with 'all able-bodied officers in the Met' out on duty.
Police confirmed that 525 people have now been arrested since rioting began on Saturday and over 100 have been charged.
The violence was first sparked by the shooting by police of suspected drug dealer Mark Duggan, 29, in Tottenham last Thursday who was carrying a blank-firing handgun converted to fire live bullets when he was killed by a single gunshot to the chest.
This afternoon it emerged he did not fire at officers before he was killed, ballistic tests indicate.
There is 'no evidence' that a handgun found at the scene where Mark Duggan was killed by armed officers was used, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.
England's friendly international against the Netherlands tomorrow at Wembley has been called off amid fears that it could be targeted and both West Ham and Charlton have postponed their Carling Cup clashes tonight on police advice.
Amid the unrest, with a year to go until the games, senior members of the International Olympic Committee are in the capital today. As London is cleaned up they are expected to watch beach volleyball at Whitehall.
Rioting erupts across London
After the storm: Fire crews douse out burnt out buildings on London Road in Croydon this morning following the worst night of rioting
After the storm: Fire crews douse out burnt out buildings on London Road in Croydon this morning following the worst night of rioting
The charred shell of Reeves Furniture store in Croydon this morning which was completely destroyed in the huge blaze
The charred shell of Reeves Furniture store in Croydon this morning which was completely destroyed in the huge blaze
Clear-up: A group of around 300 volunteers were helping to tidy Hackney, north London, where vehicles were torched
Prime Minister David Cameron talks to senior fire brigade officers during a visit to the Metropolitan Police's Gold Command headquarters in Lambeth, south London
Clear-up: A group of around 300 volunteers were helping to tidy Hackney, north London, where vehicles were torched while David Cameron talks to senior fire brigade officers during a visit to the Metropolitan Police's Gold Command headquarters
Arson: The buildings at Reeves Corner today which were totally destroyed by fire last night
Arson: The buildings at Reeves Corner today which were totally destroyed by fire last night

TV PRESENTER 'ARRESTS' RIOTER

Presenter Dan Snow performed a citizen's arrest on a rioter outside his home
Television star Dan Snow 'arrested' a rioter as he looted a shop outside his London home, it was revealed today.
The 6ft 6in presenter confronted yobs as they raided a shoe shop outside his property in Notting Hill gate at around 11pm last night.
As around 50 people caused chaos outside he bravely rugby-tackled a thug and held him until police arrived.
He told The Times: 'As I came up I could hear police sirens coming up the road.
'One of them belted out of the shoe shop. He didn't see me coming, so I rugby-tackled him. He was quite surprised.'
Last night 44 police officers were injured - four of them seriously - as the capital endured the worst night of violence it has seen for decades. Police said 111 officers have been injured since the violence began on Saturday night. 
London Ambulance Service said it took 22 people to hospital from the main areas of the disturbances, although others were treated at the scene or made their own way to accident and emergency departments. Some rioters threw missiles at ambulances or threatened medics as they tried to care for the injured.
Deputy Mayor of London Kit Malthouse told LBC radio: 'Officers were extremely brave. What we are trying to do is maximise the number of police officers we have out again tonight.
'We have something like 6,000 on duty last night. We need to get even more out tonight, and that includes officers from outside London, so we are appealing to other forces to help us where they can.'
Acting Scotland Yard Commissioner Tim Godwin said there had been 'far too many' young people on the capital's streets last night and called on parents and guardians to keep youngsters in tonight.
'We've got the full support of the Government in getting as much mutual aid from outside of London as is necessary and I would like to take this opportunity to remind people of what I said last night as things were escalating.
'There were far too many young people on the streets of London last night, in places which were both dangerous and violent and I urge all the citizens of London, and the guardians and parents of young people especially, to keep them in tonight.
'We will be very robust in policing any disorder we get tonight.
'This is not just a game. This is criminality, this is burglary, this is violence, and we will pursue each and every one that has been involved in this and we will be making sure they are brought to justice and to court.
'We have a significant investigative asset that's in place.'
In one of the most serious incidents, the well-known Reeves furniture store in Croydon, south London, which first opened in 1867, was completely destroyed by a huge fire.
Owner Trevor Reeves told Sky News: 'It has just provided my family and the 15 or 20 staff and families that were supported, it's just completely destroyed.
'Words fail me. It's just gone, it's five generations. My father is distraught at the moment. It's just mindless thuggery.'
Crumpled heap: This Sony distribution centre in Waltham Abbey, north of London was destroyed by violence overnight, and there were reports of looting at the scene before the blaze
Crumpled heap: This Sony distribution centre in Waltham Abbey, north of London was destroyed by violence overnight, and there were reports of looting at the scene before the blaze
The Reeves furniture store in Croydon - which opened in 1867 - burns to the ground on the third night of unrest last night
The Reeves furniture store in Croydon - which opened in 1867 - burns to the ground on the third night of unrest last night
A police officer aims a Heckler Koch Baton gun which fires rubber bullets in Northern Ireland. They could be used in mainland UK for the first time if rioting resumes tonight
A police officer aims a Heckler Koch Baton gun which fires rubber bullets in Northern Ireland. They could be used in mainland UK for the first time if rioting resumes tonight
In Clapham youths went on the rampage trashing dozens of shops and walking out with plundered products.
Residents complained that police were very slow to respond as a huge Debenhams store was ransacked. This morning the whole high street was cordoned off as a major investigation and clear-up got underway.
Rioting began in Hackney shortly after 4pm yesterday when a mob of hooded youths began hurling missiles at officers and setting fire to bins and cars. Masked rioters on BMX bicycles armed with batons attacked a crowded London bus during the evening rush-hour, chasing terrified commuters as they tried to escape. 
The thugs, some as young as eight, forced the driver to stop the double-decker by pelting it with champagne bottles stolen from a nearby Tesco. About 40 passengers – some carrying screaming toddlers – burst out of the exits and sprinted away.
Within hours similar scenes erupted in Lewisham, spreading to PeckhamDeptford and Croydon in south-east London.
Hundreds of fires were started all over the capital, from Camden in the north, Woolwich in the south-east, Ealing in west London and then, more worryingly as police lost control of the streets last night, locals were forced to take the law into their own hands to protect their homes and businesses.
In Dalston and Hackney, north-east London, shopkeepers and their families fought back against looting youths and forced them from the streets. As surrounding areas were pillaged members of the town's large Turkish community stood firm outside their homes and businesses.
The Home Secretary Theresa May this morning appeared to rule out bringing in the Army and using water cannon. She told BBC Breakfast: 'The way we police is by consent.'
Arson attack: Smoke rises from the Sony distribution centre in Enfield as frefighters try to bring the blaze under control. The fire started last night after it was looted
Arson attack: Smoke rises from the Sony distribution centre in Enfield as frefighters try to bring the blaze under control. The fire started last night after it was looted
Scene of devastation: A firefighter sprays water onto Reeves furniture store torched by rioters in Croydon, south London
Scene of devastation: A firefighter sprays water onto Reeves furniture store torched by rioters in Croydon, south London
A smouldering car is seen in Hackney, east London, following unrest overnight
A smouldering car is seen in Hackney, east London, following unrest overnight
Significant: The ballistics report on the shooting of Mark Duggan, which sparked the initial riot in Tottenham, is expected to be published by the IPCC later today
Significant: The ballistics report on the shooting of Mark Duggan, which sparked the initial riot in Tottenham, is expected to be published by the IPCC later today
'British policing has always meant and always depended on the support of local communities and that's what we need now.'
She told Sky News the capital needed 'robust policing' - and rejected suggestions that police budget cutting had any impact on violence.
'Don't let police budgets be used as an excuse for what is going on on our streets it is sheer criminality and nothing else.'
Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP and former Army officer, hit out and told the Telegraph that tougher policing should be used in mainland Britain for the first time.
He said: ‘I find it strange that we are willing to use these sort of measures against the Irish yet when Englishmen step out of line and behave in this atrocious and appalling way, we are happy to mollycoddle them.'
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh appeared to contradict the Home Secretary and said using the military had not been ruled out.
'All options were discussed last night and that means, not that we're doing it, the people of London need to know that the Commissioner and his management board team are considering everything and working through those options as we go forward,' he told BBC Breakfast.
Mr Kavanagh said it was 'a shocking and appalling morning for London to wake up to' and he was struck by the 'sheer scale and speed with which the attacks took place across London last night'. It 'was truly unprecedented' he said.
He said there was a 'changing nature' in the make-up of the rioters, with the profile changing 'dramatically' last night from 14 to 17-year-olds to 'older groups in cars doing organised looting'.
He added: 'And there was the far more focused attempt at injuring London Ambulance staff, there to help the community, trying to injure Fire Brigade officers and, of course, police officers.'
Elsewhere, West Midlands Police said it had made about 100 arrests and confirmed that a police station in Handsworth, Birmingham, was on fire. Merseyside Police said there were a number of incidents in South Liverpool, including cars being set alight.
Avon and Somerset Police reported around 150 rioters were in Bristol city centre, with main roads closed and a number of shops damaged.
Carnage: The high street close to Clapham Junction is covered in debris today after hundreds of people went on the rampage last night. The Debenhams store, right, was ransacked and looted
Carnage: The high street close to Clapham Junction is covered in debris today after hundreds of people went on the rampage last night. The Debenhams store, right, was ransacked and looted
Devastation: Flames shoot more than 100ft into the air in Croydon as a building is torched. The suburb has suffered some of the most serious violence in the capital Devastation: Flames shoot more than 100ft into the air in Croydon as a building is torched. The suburb has suffered some of the most serious violence in the capital
Mentions of rioting on Twitter today
Mentions of rioting on Twitter today
Gangs of looters - who appeared to be teenagers and young adults from a range of different backgrounds - raided hundreds of shops and businesses across London, making off with TVs and other electrical goods, cigarettes, clothes and alcohol. 
Staff at Birmingham Children's Hospital formed a 'human shield' as they barricaded themselves inside after rioters threatened to set it on fire - in an evil bid to 'win respect' from fellow thugs.
Police ordered an immediate lock-down of the hospital after rioters used Twitter to spread the word and encourage thugs to storm the wards just after 9pm last night. Gangs of rioters rounded on the hospital - which cares for some of Britain's sickest children - armed with broken bottles and knives hoping to 'out-riot' yobs running amok in London.
A hospital spokesman said: 'We were told by police to lock the hospital down. They asked us not to let anyone in or out until it was safe to do so.  'It is extremely dangerous and our main concern is for the welfare of our patients and staff.'
In Medway, Kent, a group of around 15 youths arrived by train and went on the rampage, while violence was also reported in Chatham, Rainham and Gillingham.
Yobs also went on the rampage in Nottingham where up to 40 cars were damaged, there were attempts to loot shops and a container of 200 tyres was set on fire.
Cars and wheelie bins were torched during five hours of violence across Liverpool. A Tesco store in Myrtle Street was looted and police came under attack in Admiral Street with some of the rioters aged as young as 10.
Of the attempted murder of a police officer, Scotland Yard said the three people were apprehended following an incident in Brent, north west London, that led to a police officer being injured by a car while trying to stop looters.
Croydon: Arsonists started a blaze in Croydon the latest borough to come under attack from rioters
Croydon: Arsonists started a blaze at Reeves furniture store - the latest borough to come under attack from rioters. The family business is more than 100 years old
Woolwich: A Wetherspoons pub is completely gutted by fire last night as the violence continued
Woolwich: A Wetherspoons pub is completely gutted by fire last night as the violence continued
Liverpool: Two vehicles are set alight on Lawrence Road in Toxteth, Liverpool as crowds of youths gather
Liverpool: Two vehicles are set alight on Lawrence Road in Toxteth, Liverpool as crowds of youths gather
Camden: The violence spread to Camden and Chalk Farm in north London. Police are seen walking the streets near Camden Lock
Camden: The violence spread to Camden and Chalk Farm in north London. Police are seen walking the streets near Camden Lock
A yob attacks a police car in Hackney
A resident films a police officer on his mobile phone
Hackney: A yob attacks a police car in Hackney with a piece of wood whilst elsewhere in the east London suburb a resident takes a photo of a police officer in riot gear
Looters raid the Orange phone shop in New Street Birmingham
Copycats: Looters raid the Orange phone shop in New Street Birmingham as the violence spread north
Birmingham: Looters raid the Orange Store in New Street yesterday in copy-cat riots which have erupted in the city
A force spokesman said: 'At approximately 2.50am on Tuesday, August 9 a male police officer was injured by a car in Fulton Road, Brent. He has been taken to a north London hospital where he remains in a stable condition.
'It is believed the injury occurred when police stopped some cars as their occupants were suspected of being involved in looting of a nearby electrical store. It is believed the driver of one of the cars drove away injuring the police officer in the process. Three people were later stopped by police and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.'
As the trouble intensified, at 2.30am the Met changed its tactics in the Lavender Hill, Clapham, introducing armoured vehicles to push back more than 150 people where substantial damage was being caused to shops and local businesses.
Because the tactic proved a success police are now considering using the same methods elsewhere.
A large blaze at a Sony distribution centre near Enfield, north London, also sent plumes of thick smoke across the sky last night.
In Croydon, one woman was seen leaping from a burning building on Surrey Street as flames threatened to engulf her. Police also revealed a man was shot in the suburb, and though he is in a serious condition he was not fatally injured.
Disturbances were reported in Harrow, in the north west of the city and Clapham, in south London, where shops were looted, including the Debenhams store and a row of shops in Lavender Hill.
Unrest was also been reported in Fulham, at Wandsworth Bridge Road, and in Ealing in west London where windows at a Tesco supermarket were smashed and rubbish strewn across the street. 
Police officers arrest a man as rioters gathered in Croydon
A police officer helps an injured officer as rioters gathered in Croydon, south London
Croydon: Police carry away a rioter on the streets of London last night, while elsewhere in the south London suburb an officer helps an injured colleague to safety 
A bus at High Street Kensington was attacked and unrest was reported in CamdenChalk Farm, Enfield, Bethnal Green and Portabello Road, Notting Hill.
Some people in Hackney and Clapham Junction were forced to flee their homes following the violence. Police have also urged football clubs to cancel any up-coming London fixtures this week until the violence has been brought under control.
Last night about 1,700 extra police officers were brought in from neighbouring forces to help contain the trouble, including officers from Thames Valley Police, Kent, Essex, Hampshire, Surrey, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Sussex.
Commander Christine Jones, said: 'The violence we have seen is simply inexcusable. Ordinary people have had their lives turned upside down by this mindless thuggery. The Met will ensure that those responsible will face the consequences of their actions and be arrested.'
Roy Ramm, a former Scotland Yard commander, said the Met could lose control of London’s streets. 
‘That has to be a possibility and the Home Secretary and commissioner are going to have to make some difficult decisions.
He said that by using mobile phones and social networks ‘these people can mass and change direction very quickly and the police tactics are being subverted.’
Looters run from a clothes shop with a bag of clothes
A masked rioter raises a wine bottle in Hackney
Croydon: Looters run from a shop in Hackney with a bag of clothes whilst another rioter in Hackney raises a wine bottle as he rampages through the streets 
British police officers arrest a man as rioters gathered in Croydon, south London
A masked man carries a toy horse in front of a burning car in Hackney
Hackney: Police detain a man in Hackney whilst another man covers his face with a scarf and is photographed with a wooden rocking horse 
Croydon pub landlord Alan McCabe told BBC he was furious about the fires raging in Croydon.
'I have never seen such a disregard for human life. I hope they rot in hell.
'The grief they have caused people, the fear they have put in people's hearts, decent people who have done nothing to anyone.'
In Birmingham police said several shops near the Bullring shopping centre were attacked and property stolen as youths rampaged around the city centre causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The disorder started at about 7.45pm when a mob of around 40 youths charged from the station into the main shopping area smashing shops and causing havoc. One group grabbed hundreds of coat hangers throwing them onto the streets and tipping over rubbish bins.
Among the damaged shops were a Sainsbury's Local, Adidas, JD Sports, Primark, TMobile and stationery shop Savers, which is located yards away from Jamie Oliver's restaurant Jamie's Italian.
Shocked diners at Wagamamas and Jamie's Italian stopped eating to stand up and look at the riots in progress.
Back in London, on Peckham High Street, around 500 youths gathered near riot police, while a gang of 10 looters raided a loan shop and an ABC Pharmacy was targeted by men using plastic bags to cover their faces.
Dresses were among the items taken from a clothing store, while a cashpoint and a branch of Coral bookmakers were also badly damaged.
Three lines of riot police charged at a large group of youths outside Peckham Library, forcing them to retreat.
At Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd's Bush, barriers were erected, and Kilburn High Street was closed off. Police were also on the streets in Harlesden. 
The widespread rioting led to railway station closures while numerous roads were also shut.
Among the mainline stations that were shut last night were Peckham Rye and Queens Road, Peckham, as well as Barking in east London, West Croydon in south-east London, and Bethnal Green in east London.
A masked man walks past a burning car outside a Carhartt store in Hackney. Violence is also taking place in Peckham and Lewisham
Violence: A masked man walks past a burning car outside a Carhartt store in Hackney yesterday evening - clutching a can of Special Brew
Police officers in riot gear block a road near a burning car on a street in Hackney as youths hurl missiles at officers
Hackney: Police officers in riot gear block a road near a burning car on a street in Hackney as youths hurl missiles at officers yesterday
Hackney: Dozens of riot police in helmets and shields surround a rioter in Hackney yesterday afternoon. Police have struggled to contain the violence across London
Hackney: Dozens of riot police in helmets and shields surround a rioter in Hackney yesterday afternoon. Police have struggled to contain the violence across London
A burning car in Hackney yesterday. Violence swept across south, west and north London as well as Liverpool and Birmingham
A burning car in Hackney yesterday. Violence swept across south, west and north London as well as Liverpool and Birmingham
Looters in Hackney
Looters raid Harris Electronics in Hackney
Looters raid two shops in Hackney, east London last night. They are seen forcing their way into buildings making off with goods with smashed glass all over the pavement
Hooded youths loot a Carhartt store in Hackney by ripping out a roller-shutter door before making off with clothes
Hooded youths loot a Carhartt store in Hackney by ripping out a roller-shutter door before making off with clothes
People flee in Hackney as rioting began in the east London suburb yesterday where cars and bins were set alight and missiles thrown at police
People flee in Hackney as rioting began in the east London suburb yesterday where cars and bins were set alight and missiles thrown at police
The violence has spread to Deptford this evening - including this building which has been set on fire
The violence has spread to Deptford this evening - including this building which has been set on fire. It follows violence in Hackney, Lewisham and Peckham today
Police officers in riot gear drag a man along a street in Hackney
Youths loot a Carhartt store in Hackney
Police in riot gear drag a man along a street in Hackney whilst looters in hooded tops and scarves raid the Carhartt store with one man making off with a pair of jeans
Twitter users describe the riots
Twitter users describe the riots
Chaos: Twitter users describe seeing youths loot a lorry and the sports shop JD Sports, while another woman tells how rioters are attacking police cars
A car burns outside a Carhartt store in Hackney where youths also looted the store
A car burns outside a Carhartt store in Hackney where youths also looted the store
  

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