Local Time

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Violence, rioting and looting breaks out across England


The Pandora jewellers shop in Birmingham city centre is attackedThe Pandora jewellers shop in Birmingham city centre was attacked
Violence broke out in four English cities as rioting and disorder spread across London for a third night.
Hundreds of people attacked and looted shops in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham in what police called "copycat criminal activity".
There were smaller disturbances in the Medway towns in Kent and also in Leeds.
It comes as London saw a third night of violence which began in Tottenham on Saturday over the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan.
There was third night of violence in London after trouble started on Monday afternoon in Hackney.
An extra 1,700 police officers were deployed in London, where shops were looted and buildings were set alight.
'Simply inexcusable'
The prime minister has returned early from his holiday to discuss the unrest, which first flared on Saturday following a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan by police.
Met commander Christine Jones described the violence was "simply inexcusable".
All Met police cells in London are full and some of those arrested are being taken to surrounding forces.
London Fire Brigade said fires had spread "almost pan-London" and it faced its "busiest night in recent history".
Its 999 control centre answered 2,169 calls between 18:00 BST on Monday and 07:19 BST on Tuesday.
One hundred people have been arrested in Birmingham after scores of youths rampaged through the shopping area, smashing windows and looting from shops.
West Midlands Police said a police station in Holyhead Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, was set on fire.
There were reports of up to 200 youths with masks roaming through Toxteth in Liverpool.
'Twitter intelligence'
Police in Bristol said they dealt with outbreaks of disorder involving about 150 people.
Nottinghamshire Police said a police station was attacked in the St Ann's area and 200 tyres were set alight in the street.
A man was shot in the Chapeltown area of Leeds and is under armed guard in hospital. Armed officers and a substantial police presence were evident in Savile Place on Monday evening.
Disturbances in Birmingham started in the early evening when gangs of youths gathered in the city centre.
Police said they had been aware of "Twitter intelligence" during the day suggesting there would be trouble in the city in the evening.
The Armani store at the Mailbox shopping centre and the Adidas store on New Street were both looted.
Eyewitness footage of disorder and disturbances in Birmingham city centre.
About 100 people were arrested during the night.
West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said: "We will continue to make arrests while this mindless thuggery takes place in our city centre. It is totally unacceptable."
In Bristol about 150 people were involved in trouble until the early hours of the morning.
Police said the Stokes Croft and St Werburghs areas of Bristol were also affected in what the force described as a "volatile situation".
BBC reporter Neil Bennett, who witnessed some of the disturbances, said: "It was quite scary and lively and there were lots of bottles and bricks being thrown, but the police seemed to get it under control.
Fire at furniture store in CroydonFire swept through a furniture store in Croydon
"There were lots of people with masks and shirts over their faces but they largely just vanished as police arrived.
Rioters gathered in Liverpool in what police said was a "copycat issue" after the trouble across London.
Andy Ward, Assistant Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, described it as "a very saddening picture".
Officers came under attack at a number of sites across the city.
Witnesses at one incident at the Tesco Express store in Myrtle Street said looters were as young as 10 years old.
Violence flared in Nottingham at about 23:30 BST.
More than 100 police officers were deployed when the trouble began and about 40 vehicles were damaged.
'Youth battlefield'
Jeremy Ball, Social Affairs Correspondent, East Midlands Today, said: "One woman said the street was like a war zone.
"She said it was like a battlefield with groups of youths standing on cars kicking their feet through windscreens.
"Two teenage girls said they knew the trouble was going to break out as messages were sent out on mobile phones and via social networking."
He remains under armed guard in hospital where he is being treated for serious facial injuries.
Officers said the incident on Monday evening, in Savile Place, was followed by "pockets of isolated disorder".
In Gillingham youths clashed with police in High Street and cars were set alight in Chatham in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Football Association has called off England's friendly with The Netherlands at Wembley on Wednesday.
Carling Cup matches at Charlton, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bristol City have also all been postponed.

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