West Midlands/Manchester: Several Arrested After Disturbances & Looting

9 Aug

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Video: Met Police Flood London Streets To Quell Riots

www.bbc.co.uk/news

Several people have been arrested this evening after trouble flared in Manchester and Salford – and there was also violence in the West Midlands.

:: Police numbers being boosted in London.

:: Met Police considers issuing officers with plastic bullets (baton rounds).

:: “No evidence” Mark Duggan fired at police before his death.

There has been sporadic looting across Manchester city centre as gangs broke into stores.

Raiders threw stones and other missiles at windows, and shouted as they ran from police.

Rioters also set fire to a Miss Selfridge shop on Market Street – and at least seven people have been arrested over the trouble.

And around 100 youths looted Foot Asylum in the Arndale Centre after two raiders smashed open the glass entrance with a large stone slab.

Hundreds of riot police had tried to move crowds who had gathered on Piccadilly Gardens, leading to running battles with youngsters wearing masks and hoods.

In Salford, protesters threw rocks at police in riot gear and at least one vehicle was on fire.

In Wolverhampton, some stores have been broken into, and in West Bromwich, two cars have been set on fire.

Meanwhile, the number of police officers on London’s streets tonight trying to prevent further rioting and looting is almost being trebled to 16,000.

After police were vastly outnumbered on Monday night with just 6,000 officers on patrol amid “sickening” scenes of violence, the Prime Minister announced the increase in police numbers.

Scotland Yard says officers have made 563 arrests and charged 105 people over the disorder which began in London on Saturday night.

Police have also released pictures of looting suspects.

A total of 111 officers and five police dogs have been injured during escalating riots in the capital.

All Metropolitan Police leave has been cancelled and special constables have been asked to work.

Reinforcements are being provided by 26, or 60%, of the country’s other forces, and the Met has called on retired officers to help out.

Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt said the Met was considering a change of tactics and that officers may even be issued with plastic bullets.

Brunt said: “Police have promised to swamp the streets and act tougher if there’s another night of rioting in the capital.

“A change in tactics could include the use of plastic bullets (baton rounds) to clear looters and vandals.

“Such a weapon has been available to police in the past three nights, but commanders have resisted using them.”

Meanwhile, the Met has begun its biggest ever criminal operation after three nights during which groups of youths burned buildings and cars on the capital’s streets.

At least 525 people, including an 11-year-old, have been arrested since Saturday evening when violence erupted in Tottenham, north London.

The unrest there was said to have been sparked by the fatal shooting by police of local man Mark Duggan.

There was reportedly an exchange of fire with police before his death.  

But there is no evidence Mr Duggan opened fire at officers before he was shot dead, ballistic test results obtained by the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

The Duggan family told Sky News: “We feel completely gutted. Someone must be made accountable for this.”

On Monday night, Croydon, Clapham, Ealing, Hackney, Peckham and Enfield were among the areas of London worst hit by the disorder.

There was also trouble in other English cities, including Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool.

PM David Cameron flew back from holiday early as the violence escalated and has announced that Parliament will be recalled on Thursday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said he apologised “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,” he said.

Brunt said there were 500 detectives working to identify vandals who have not been arrested so far.

The investigation is bigger even than the one for the 7/7 bombings.

Senior Scotland Yard officers, led by Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin, met a number of departments on Monday night to discuss the use of various tactics.

A 26-year-old man has died after being shot in Croydon, south London, on Monday night and another man in his 60s is in a critical condition after being attacked in Ealing, west London.

Mr Cameron described the violence as “criminality pure and simple” and said the Government would do “everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding”.

He warned those involved in the trouble they were not only risking their own communities, but their own futures, adding: “If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson faced heavy criticism from angry residents in Clapham Junction as he visited the area to see the devastation for himself.

He struggled to make himself heard as he said: “I want to say to everybody who runs a shop or owns a business here how very sorry I am for the loss and the damage you havem suffered.

“I also want to say to the people who have been involved in instigating these riots and those who have been robbing and stealing that they will be caught, they will be apprehended and they will face punishments they will bitterly regret. They will.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also struggled to appease members of the public who shouted “go home” during a walkabout in Birmingham.

Much of the rioting appears to have been coordinated through messages on Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry messenging service called BBM .

Tottenham MP David Lammy has called for Blackberry to suspend its BBM service to stop rioters from being able to communicate.

Strathclyde Police have arrested a 16-year-old in Glasgow in connection with a Facebook message allegedly inciting others to riot.

And two 18-yr-olds have been arrested in Folkestone for allegedly inciting rioters through social media sites.

Wednesday’s international football friendly between England and Holland at Wembley has also been cancelled due to security fears.

Members of the public may have been hoping for some wet weather to deter the groups but forecasters have said there will be no rain tonight.

Normally, offending levels are lower in poor night-time weather.

NEWS UPDATE:

Play Video

Video: IPCC: Man Shot By Police Did Not Open Fire 

The victim of a police shooting did not fire at officers before he was killed, according to a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

An IPCC ballistics report said there was “no evidence” that a handgun found near where Mark Duggan was shot by armed officers had been used.

The death sparked the first night of rioting in London in Tottenham.

The 29-year-old died after receiving a gunshot to the chest on Thursday night.

His family issued a statement saying: “We feel completely gutted. Someone must be made accountable for this. We can’t believe that they can do this.

“In this day and age this is completely unacceptable. We are very, very angry and we want answers now from the police.”

Earlier in the week, it emerged that a bullet which had hit a policeman and become lodged in his radio was police issue.

The IPCC say the investigation into the incident is continuing with CCTV from the area being reviewed.

Scotland Yard again appealed for calm following the publication of the results and Mr Duggan’s family said they were deepy distressed by the outbreak of violence across the country.

An inquest into his death has been opened.

NEWS UPDATE:

A property is on fire near Reeves Corner in Croydon, south London, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. A wave of violence and looting raged across London and spread to three other major British cities on Tuesday, as authorities struggled to contain the country's worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s. (AP Photo/PA, Lewis Whyld) UNITED KINGDOM OUT, NO SALES, NO ARCHIVE

A property is on fire near Reeves Corner in Croydon, south London, Tuesday, Aug. …

Firefighters spray water onto buildings set on fire by rioters the night before in Croydon, south London, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. A wave of violence and looting raged across London and spread to three other major British cities Tuesday, as authorities struggled to contain the country's worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

Firefighters spray water onto buildings set on fire by rioters the night before in …

 

LONDON (AP) — Emergency services in northern England say a clothing store has been set alight amid outbreaks of unrest in Manchester, where hundreds of young people joined a fourth night of rioting in Britain.

Police in the city of Manchester, in northwestern England, said seven people had been arrested so far, as youths rampaged through the city center — which had not previously been touched by the violence, arson and looting that has swept through London and other major cities since Saturday night.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney, of Greater Manchester police department, said shops had been attacked and urged residents to avoid the city center.

Firefighters said the Miss Selfridge clothes store in Manchester city center and a disused library in nearby Salford had been set ablaze by troublemakers on Tuesday.

LONDON (AP) — Britain began flooding London’s streets with 16,000 police officers Tuesday, nearly tripling their presence as the nation feared its worst rioting in a generation would stretch into a fourth night. The violence has turned buildings into burnt out carcasses, triggered massive looting and spread to other U.K. cities.

Police said they were working full-tilt, but found themselves under attack — from rioters roaming the streets, from a scared and worried public, and from politicians whose cost-cutting is squeezing police numbers ahead of next year’s Olympic Games. Sharp cuts planned for public services and rising unemployment have fed into growing frustrations in poor, urban areas.

London’s Metropolitan Police force vowed an unprecedented operation to stop more rioting, flooding the streets Tuesday with 16,000 officers over the next 24 hours, nearly three times Monday’s total.

Although the riots started Saturday with a protest over a police shooting, they have morphed into a general lawlessness that police have struggled to halt with ordinary tactics. Police in Britain generally avoid tear gas, water cannons or other strong-arm riot measures. Many shops targeted by looters had goods that youths would want anyway — sneakers, bikes, electronics, leather goods — while other buildings were torched apparently just for the fun of seeing something burn.

Police said plastic bullets were “one of the tactics” being considered to stop the looting. The bullets were common in Northern Ireland during its years of unrest but have never before been used in mainland Britain.

But police acknowledged they could not guarantee there would be no more violence. Stores, offices and nursery schools in several parts of London closed early amid fears of fresh rioting Tuesday night, though pubs and restaurants were open. Police in one London district, Islington, advised people not to be out on the streets “unless absolutely necessary.”

“We have lots of information to suggest that there may be similar disturbances tonight,” Commander Simon Foy told the BBC. “That’s exactly the reason why the Met (police force) has chosen to now actually really ‘up the game’ and put a significant number of officers on the streets.”

The riots and looting caused heartache for Londoners whose businesses and homes were torched or looted, and a crisis for police and politicians already staggering from a spluttering economy and a scandal over illegal phone hacking by a tabloid newspaper that has dragged in senior politicians and police.

“The public wanted to see tough action. They wanted to see it sooner and there is a degree of frustration,” said Andrew Silke, head of criminology at the University of East London.

London’s beleaguered police force called the violence the worst in decades, noting they received more than 20,000 emergency calls on Monday — four times the normal number. Scotland Yard has called in reinforcements from around the country and asked all volunteer special constables to report for duty.

In central England, police said they made five arrests in Birmingham, and dispersed a small group of people who torched two cars in the center of West Bromwich, a nearby town. Shops were targeted by rioters in the city of Wolverhampton, police said.

Police in northwestern England, said there were small scale incidents in Manchester and the neigboring city of Salford, but that no arrests had been made so far.

Police launched a murder inquiry after a man found with a gunshot wound during riots in the south London suburb of Croydon died of his injuries Tuesday. Police said 111 officers, five police dogs and 14 members of the public were hurt over the three days of rioting, including a man in his 60s with life-threatening injuries.

So far more than 560 people have been arrested in London and more than 100 charged, and the capital’s prison cells were overflowing. Several dozen more were arrested in other cities.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had teams of lawyers working 24 hours a day to help police decide whether to charge suspects.

Prime Minister David Cameron — who cut short a holiday in Italy to deal with the crisis — recalled Parliament from its summer recess for an emergency debate on the riots and looting that have spread from the deprived London neighborhood of Tottenham to districts across the capital, and the cities of Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol.

Cameron described the scenes of burning buildings and smashed windows as “sickening,” but refrained from tougher measures such as calling in the military to help police restore order.

“People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding,” Cameron told reporters after a crisis meeting at his Downing Street office.

Parliament will return to duty on Thursday, as the political fallout from the rampage takes hold. The crisis is a major test for Cameron’s Conservative-led coalition government.

A soccer match scheduled for Wednesday between England and the Netherlands at London’s Wembley stadium was canceled to free up police officers for riot duty.

A wave of violence and looting raged across London on Monday night, as authorities struggled to contain the country’s worst unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s. Groups of young people rampaged for a third straight night, setting buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps alight, looting stores and pelting police officers with bottles and fireworks.

Rioters, able to move quickly and regroup to avoid the police, were left virtually unchallenged in several neighborhoods, plundering stores at will.

Silke said until police were seen arresting large numbers of rioters, it will be hard to control the rioting.

“People are seeing images of lines of police literally running away from rioters,” he said. “For young people that is incredibly empowering. They are breaking the rules, they are getting away with it, no one is able to stop them.”

Politicians visited riot sites Tuesday — but for many residents it was too little, too late.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was booed by crowds who shouted “Go home!” during a walkabout in Birmingham, while London mayor Boris Johnson — who flew back overnight from his summer vacation — was heckled on a shattered shopping street in Clapham, south London.

Johnson said the riots would not stop London “welcoming the world to our city” for the Olympics.

“We have time in the next 12 months to rebuild, to repair the damage that has been done,” he said. “I’m not saying it will be done overnight, but this is what we are going to do.”

Violence first broke out late Saturday in the low-income, multiethnic district of Tottenham in north London, after a protest against the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was gunned down in disputed circumstances Thursday.

Police said Duggan was shot dead when officers from Operation Trident — the unit that investigates gun crime in the black community — stopped a cab he was riding in.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the shooting, said a “non-police firearm” was recovered at the scene, but that there was no evidence it had been fired — a revelation that could fuel the anger of the local community.

An inquest into Duggan’s death was opened Tuesday, though it will likely be several months before a full hearing.

Duggan’s death stirred memories of the bad old days of the 1980s, when many black Londoners felt they were disproportionately stopped and searched by police. The frustration erupted in violent riots in 1985.

Relations have improved since then but tensions remain, and many young people of all races mistrust the police.

Others pointed to rising social tensions in Britain as the government slashes 80 billion pounds ($130 billion) from public spending by 2015 to reduce the huge deficit, swollen after the country spent billions bailing out its foundering banks.

Many rioters appeared to relish the opportunity for violence. “Come join the fun!” shouted one youth as looters hit the east London suburb of Hackney.

In Hackney, one of the boroughs hosting next year’s Olympics, hundreds of youths left a trail of burning trash and shattered glass. Looters ransacked a convenience store, filling plastic shopping bags with alcohol, cigarettes, candy and toilet paper.

Disorder flared throughout the night, from gritty suburbs along the capital’s fringes to west London’s posh Notting Hill neighborhood.

In Croydon, fire gutted a 140-year-old family run department store, House of Reeves, and forced nearby homes to be evacuated.

“I’m the fifth generation to run this place,” said owner Graham Reeves, 52. “I have two daughters. They would have been he sixth.

“No one’s stolen anything,” he said. “They just burnt it down.”

In the Clapham Junction area of south London, a mob stole masks from a party store to disguise their identities and then set the building on fire. In nearby Peckham, a building and a bus were set ablaze. Cars were torched in nearby Lewisham, and in west London’s Ealing suburb the windows of each store along entire streets had been smashed.

A blaze gutted a Sony Corp. distribution center in north London, damaging DVDs and other products, and about 100 young people clashed with police in north London around Camden.

“We locked all the doors, and my wife even packed a bag to flee,” said 27-year-old Camden resident Simon Dance. “We had Twitter rolling until midnight just to keep up with the news. We were too afraid to even look out the window.”

Outside London, dozens of people attacked shops in Birmingham’s main retail district, and clashed with police in Liverpool and Bristol.

On Tuesday, as Londoners emerged with brooms to help sweep the streets of broken glass, many called for police to use water cannons, tear gas or rubber bullets to disperse rioters, or bring out the military for support. Although security forces in Northern Ireland regularly use all those methods, they have not been seen on the mainland in decades.

Some lawmakers have criticized police tactics, believing a tougher approach on Monday could have stop the spread of the rioting.

“Policing is done by consent and we have to decide what level of policing we are prepared to go to. In my personal opinion they could be a lot more robust,” Angela Bray, lawmaker for Ealing Central and Acton, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

But the government rejected the calls, for now.

“The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon,” Home Secretary Theresa May told Sky News. “The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.”

The riots could not have come at a worse time for police, a year before the Olympic Games, which Scotland Yard says will be the biggest challenge in its 182-year history.

The government has slashed police budgets as part of its spending cuts. A report last month by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said the cuts — a third of which have already taken place — will mean 16,000 fewer police officers by 2015.

Opposition Labour lawmaker David Winnick said the government should scrap its plan to cut police numbers.

“I think it’s absolute madness in view of what’s happened over the last few nights,” he said.

The force also is without a full-time leader after chief Paul Stephenson quit last month amid a scandal over the ties between senior officers and Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers, which are being investigated for hacking phone voicemails and bribing police for information. The force’s top counterterrorism officer, John Yates, also quit over the hacking scandal.

Police representatives say officers are demoralized, and feel a sense of betrayal by politicians and their leaders.

Constable Paul Deller, a 25-year veteran working in a police control center during Monday’s violence, said the rioting was “horrific.”

He acknowledged there were not enough officers on the streets to stop it, but said “we gave it everything we could.”

__

David Stringer, Raphael Satter, Sheila Norman-Culp, Meera Selva and Stephen Wilson contributed to this report.

NEWS UPDATE:

Youths smashed their way into stores and torched cars in central England as Britain’s worst riots for decades entered a fourth night.

 

Fire crews deal with the aftermath of the riots on Croydon

Fire crews deal with the aftermath of the riots on Croydon

Residents watch as fire engulfs buildings

Residents watch as fire engulfs buildings

Shops and houses burn in Croyden

Shops and houses burn in Croyden

Looting in Clapham

Looting in Clapham

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Clapham Junction

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Clapham Junction

Police officers patrol the streets

Police officers patrol the streets

Firefighters battle a blaze at a Sony distribution centre

Firefighters battle a blaze at a Sony distribution centre

Fire crews deal with the aftermath of the riots on Croydon

Residents watch as fire engulfs buildings

Shops and houses burn in Croyden

Looting in Clapham

Firefighters tackle a blaze at Clapham Junction

Police officers patrol the streets

Firefighters battle a blaze at a Sony distribution centre

One News: British parliament recalled from summer recess
 

Youths smashed their way into stores and torched cars in central England on Tuesday, police said, as Britain’s worst riots for decades entered a fourth night.

Much of London shut down early as 16,000 police officers took to the streets.

Rioters have set fire to a Miss Selfridge shop on Market Street in Manchester city centre.

563 people have been arrested so far, with 105 people charged. 111 police officers and five police dogs have been injured in the riots.

Main developments:

Violence in Salford and Manchester City Centre
Much of London closes early
Violence in West Bromwich and Birmingham this evening
Road closures in place across UK

‘No Evidence’ Mark Duggan opened fire on police

2223 Police in Nottinghamshire have said Canning Circus Police Station was ‘fire bombed’ by a group of 30-40 males.

There is no reports of injuries at this stage. A number of men were arrested.

2219 Police in the West Midlands made a total of 36 arrests tonight as fresh disturbances saw looting and vehicles set alight Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

But West Midlands Police said the disorder was not as severe as Monday’s looting in Birmingham city centre, which led to 142 arrests and saw 13 people taken to hospital.

Shops, including a branch of Marks & Spencer and a hi-fi store, were again targeted in Birmingham tonight, although two groups of youths were largely kept away from the city centre by riot police.

2217 London Fire Bridgade says it has been a reasonably quiet night in the British capital so far.

2157 Stand-offs with police have continued in Manchester and Salford.

According to reports, up to 200 rioters are involved in confrontations with police in Manchester.

2108 Ray Kennedy is in London and has been gauging the mood in Clapham and Croydon – two of the worst affected areas of Monday night’s violence. Read his special report here.

2053 Large groups of people gathered along Deansgate. Looters helped themselves to bottles of alcohol from Sainsbury’s Local at the corner of Bridge Street.

The thieving continued for several minutes in front of onlookers.

All had grabbed what they wanted and disappeared into the side streets before three police vans arrived.

2050 A van was set on fire in Bordesley Street, Birmingham, where looters targeted a cafe, smashing its windows and helping themselves to food.

2010 ‘Captured lots of criminals on CCTV – we will identify you and we will be coming for you,’ says Greater Manchester Police on Twitter.

1952 West Midlands Police have said they are continue to deal with some instances of disorder across the region.

Police in Birmingham are managing a large group of people causing disorder in several areas within the city centre. There have been some shops attacked, and there is also a report of a car having been set alight in Moor Street.

Police have currently arrested three people in Birmingham city centre.

In West Bromwich there were reports of a large group of people in the town centre earlier this evening, but they have now dispersed, with no further incidents reported. Officers remain on the ground monitoring the situation.

Police in Wolverhampton have responded to reports of a large group of people in the city centre, with some reports of attacks on shops.

1950 Around 100 youths looted Foot Asylum in the Arndale Centre in Manchester after two raiders smashed open the glass entrance with a large stone slab.

Once the glass was shattered, youngsters rushed in and carried out clothing and shoes.

They dispersed towards Deansgate when a police van arrived at the scene and a lone officer in riot gear stepped out.

1938 BBC Manchester is reporting that one of its radio cars has been set alight during unrest in the city. There were no injuries.

1931 There have been 563 arrests so far, and 105 people have been charged over the violence.

1915 Rioters have set fire to a Miss Selfridge shop on Market Street in Manchester city centre.

Hundreds of youths ran down the street smashing the windows on another clothes store, while dozens tried to force the door of the Arndale shopping centre.

1910 A 23-year-old man has been arrested in Bournemouth on suspicion of incitement to riot, Dorset Police said.

A force spokesman said he was arrested this afternoon ‘following reports of information being forwarded by an electronic device regarding a potential planned disorder in the town centre’.

‘No Evidence’ Mark Duggan fired at police

The police shooting victim whose death sparked the riots 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.

The 29-year-old’s death, after receiving a gunshot wound to the chest last Thursday, was a trigger for the first night’s rioting in Tottenham on Saturday.

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