Monday, August 8, 2011

London riots: Violence erupts for third day

Alan McCabe, pub manager in Croydon: "Area is an absolute war zone"
Violence has broken out for a third consecutive day in London, with riot police deployed and firefighters tackling blazes across the capital.
Shops were looted and buildings set alight as police clashed with youths. The trouble also spread outside London.
Violence first flared on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham over the fatal shooting of a man by police.
The prime minister is returning early from holiday to chair a meeting of the government's emergency committee Cobra.
David Cameron, who is on holiday in Italy, was due to board a flight on Monday night ahead of a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May and Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin on Tuesday.
A government spokesman said the prime minister has been monitoring the situation on "an hourly basis".
Mounted police At least 225 people have been arrested and 36 charged following the riots across London over the past three days, Scotland Yard said.
Monday's violence started in Hackney after a man was stopped and searched by police but nothing was found.
Looters in a convenience store in Hackney Shops have been looted across the capital
The trouble spread outside London on Monday evening and early on Tuesday, with police in riot gear being deployed in Birmingham city centre after scores of youths rampaged through the shopping area, smashing windows and looting from shops.
West Midlands Police also confirmed that a police station in Holyhead Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, was on fire.
There were reports of cars being damaged in Manchester and of up to 200 youths with masks roaming through Toxteth in Liverpool.
Merseyside police said they were dealing with a number of incidents in south Liverpool, including cars being set alight.
  • Cars were set on fire in Lewisham
  • A bus and shop were set alight in Peckham
  • Several fires broke out in Croydon, including one at a large furniture shop which spread to neighbouring buildings and tram lines
  • In Hackney 200 riot officers with dogs and mounted police were located around Mare Street where police cars were damaged
  • Looters raided a Debenhams store and a row of shops in Lavender Hill in Clapham
  • In Birmingham, police said officers had made 87 arrests, including six juveniles, on Monday evening
  • Buses were diverted as the violence spread to Bromley High Street
  • There were reports of looting of phone shops in Woolwich High Street, in south London, and a torched police car
  • Shops and restaurants were damaged in Ealing, west London, and there was a fire in Haven Green park opposite Ealing Broadway Tube
  • Football matches at Charlton and West Ham which were due to be played on Tuesday have been postponed at the request of the police
  • At Clapham Junction looters stole masks from a fancy dress store to hide their identity

Start Quote

It looks like a war zone - I have never seen anything like it in all my life”
Christian Potts Ealing resident
The fresh violence prompted Mr Godwin to call on parents to contact their children and urge the public to clear London's streets.
In the first outbreak of violence on Monday, groups of people began attacking the police in Hackney at about 16:20 BST, throwing rocks and a bin at officers.
Police cars were also smashed by youths armed with wooden poles and metal bars.
Looters also smashed their way into shops, including a JD Sports store, before being dispersed by police.
Planks of wood taken from a lorry were then hurled towards lines of riot officers.
In nearby Lewisham, a number of vehicles and a trail of bins were set on fire.
One resident in Croydon, who gave his name as Adam, said he saw two cars which had been set on fire.
He said: "One older woman was dragged out and they set the car on fire. Then another car around the corner was on fire, then we counted about 12 to 15 shops that had been looted.
Philippa Thomas reports from Hackney
"The looting started about three hours ago. I just came back into my apartment and the looting was still going on - not a single policeman."
Ealing resident Christian Potts, 29, was driving through the area when he witnessed the disturbances.
"It looks like a war zone - I have never seen anything like it in all my life," he said.
"There were about 25 to 30 masked youths on Haven Green and they just started tearing into a florist with bricks.
"It's a local family-run business so I can't see why they are doing this."
In Birmingham City Centre looters attacked shops, smashing windows and stealing items.
An eyewitness said windows have been smashed in McDonalds and Jessops near Birmingham Cathedral and a sign has been thrown through a gym window.
'Sheer criminality' London's mayor Boris Johnson is cutting short his holiday to return to the city.
Home Secretary Theresa May also returned early from holiday, to meet Metropolitan Police (Met) chiefs to discuss their response to the violence.

At the scene

In a lane off Mare Street the wreckage of a burnt-out car still smoulders, surrounded by riot police.
I was talking to one young man who had received on his BlackBerry a list of places where he said there will be further trouble tonight.
He didn't tell me which places and stressed it is speculation. But he and a friend told me frustration with poverty in the area was boiling over.
On Mare Street there is the sound of crunching as police vans run over broken glass. Much of it from a bottle bank which was overturned providing makeshift missiles for rioters who lobbed the bottles at police.
Mrs May condemned the riots as "sheer criminality" and said those responsible would "face the consequences of their actions".
The trouble follows two nights of violence over the weekend which started after police shot a man dead in Tottenham.
Mrs May said: "The riots in Tottenham on Saturday night and the subsequent disturbances in other parts of London are totally unacceptable."
A peaceful protest in Tottenham on Saturday over the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan, 29, was followed by violence which spread into Sunday.
A candlelit vigil was due to be held at The High Cross in Tottenham on Monday evening.
Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said there were "significant resources" on the streets, with a third more officers on duty than on Sunday.
He said: "When we have large numbers of criminals intent on that type of violence, we can only do that, get lots of officers there quickly and try to protect local businesses and local people."
But eyewitnesses reported as trouble spread across the city, there were often few police officers around when violence flared.
Map of London riots
Have you been affected by the unrest this weekend? Send us your comments using the form below.
Send your pictures and videos to or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7725 100 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here.

No comments:

Post a Comment