Birmingham: 2% Attack Majority As Anti-Social Elements Organize Rioting, Looting – For A Fourth Night

10 Aug

A general view of the London skyline Tuesday evening, Aug. 9 2011,  with smoke still seen from the Sony DADC warehouse in Enfield, north London, after rioting in the area last night.   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.   (AP Photo / Lewis Whyld/PA )  UNITED KINGDOM OUT

NEWS UPDATE:

 Scottish police to help English tackle riots.

Scottish police officers are being deployed to areas in England following rioting across the country.

David Steele, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos), confirmed that officers will be travelling to the Midlands and north of England over the course of the day.

He said equipment and vehicles, as well as extra manpower, were being sent from all eight of Scotland‘s forces.

Mr Steele said: “This involves all of our forces, not just one.

“The situation is being constantly monitored between the Acpos and colleagues in England and any further assistance required will be given careful consideration.”

Last night, hundreds of people were arrested as violence, which started four nights ago in London, swept across England.

The violence and looting has spread to cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham.

West Midlands Police launched a murder inquiry following the deaths of three men who were hit by a car in Winson Green at 1am.

Trouble also erupted in areas including Liverpool, Salford, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Bristol and Gloucester.

Around 16,000 police officers were on patrol in London, which resulted in a quieter night in the city, with 81 arrests, taking the total detained by Scotland Yard since Saturday night to 768.

First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland is ready to help police colleagues in England, but reassured people that forces will still have “the capacity to deal with any situation which might arise in Scotland”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, he said: “We have an obligation to help if we can and that is what is being done.”

Mr Salmond added that the Government is staying vigilant in case violence spreads further north and breaks out in Scotland.

He said: “We are not complacent. We have already had resilience meetings of the Government over the last few days.

“We know we have a different society in Scotland.

“One of my frustrations yesterday was to see the events being described as riots in the UK.

“Until such time we do have a riot in Scotland, what we are seeing are riots in London and across English cities.

“It is actually unhelpful to see them inaccurately presented because one of the dangers we face in Scotland is copycat action.”
A Police dog and its handler walk past a burning car during the second night of civil disturbances in central Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011. 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. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

A Police dog and its handler walk past a burning car during the second night of civil …

LONDON (AP) — Thousands of extra police officers on the streets kept a nervous London quiet Wednesday after three nights of rioting, but looting flared in Manchester and Birmingham, where a murder probe was opened when three men were killed after being hit by a car.

An eerie calm prevailed in the capital, where hundreds of shops were shuttered or boarded up as a precaution, but unrest spread across England on a fourth night of violence by brazen crowds of young people.

Scenes of ransacked stores, torched cars and blackened buildings have frightened and outraged Britons just a year before their country is to host next summer’s Olympic Games, bringing demands for a tougher response from law enforcement. Police across the country have made almost 1,200 arrests since the violence broke out over the weekend.

In London, where armored vehicles and convoys of police vans patrolled the streets, authorities said there were 16,000 officers on duty — almost triple the number present Monday night.

The show of force seems to have worked. There were no reports of major trouble in London, although there were scores of arrests. Almost 800 people have been arrested in London since trouble began Saturday.

“What happened in London last night was, when community leaders and the police came together, there were significant arrests,” said police deputy assistant chief constable Stephen Kavanagh. “We used buses to make sure some looters were taken away before they got into doing anything, but it was that joint action that made the difference.”

Outside the capital, some looting erupted, but not on the scale of the violence that hit several areas of London on Monday.

In the northwestern city of Manchester, hundreds of youths rampaged through the city center, hurling bottles and stones at police and vandalizing stores. A women’s clothing store on the city’s main shopping street was set ablaze, along with a disused library in nearby Salford.

Manchester assistant chief constable Garry Shewan said it was simple lawlessness.

“We want to make it absolutely clear — they have nothing to protest against,” he said. “There is nothing in a sense of injustice and there has been no spark that has led to this.”

Britain’s soccer authorities were talking with police to see whether this weekend’s season-opening matches of the Premier League could still go ahead in London. A Wednesday match between England and the Netherlands at London’s Wembley stadium was canceled to free up police officers for riot duty.

Britain’s riots began Saturday when an initially peaceful protest over a police shooting in London’s Tottenham neighborhood turned violent. That clash has morphed into a general lawlessness in London and several other cities that police have struggled to halt.

While the rioters have run off with goods every teen wants — new sneakers, bikes, electronics and leather goods — they also have torched stores apparently just for the fun of seeing something burn. They were left virtually unchallenged in several neighborhoods, and when police did arrive they often were able to flee quickly and regroup.

With police struggling, some residents stood guard to protect their neighborhoods. Outside a Sikh temple in Southall, west London, residents vowed to defend their place of worship if mobs of young rioters appeared. Another group marched through Enfield, in north London, aiming to deter looters.

One far-right group said about 1,000 of its members were taking to the streets to deter rioters.

“We’re going to stop the riots — police obviously can’t handle it,” Stephen Lennon, leader of the far-right English Defense League, told The Associated Press. He warned that he couldn’t guarantee there wouldn’t be violent clashes with rioting youths.

Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to the bombing and massacre that killed 77 people in Norway last month, has cited the EDL as an inspiration.

In the central England city of Nottingham, police said rioters hurled firebombs though the window of a police station, and set fire to a school and a vehicle but there were no reports of injuries. Some 90 people were arrested.

Some 250 people were arrested after two days of violence in Birmingham — where police launched a murder investigation after the deaths of three men hit by a car — some residents said the men had been patrolling their neighborhood to keep it safe from looters.

Police said a man had been arrested on suspicion of murder in the case.

In the northern city of Liverpool, about 200 youths hurled missiles at police and firefighters in a second night of unrest, and 44 arrests were reported.

There also were minor clashes in the central and western England locations of Leicester, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Bristol, and Gloucester — where police and firefighters tackled a blaze and disturbance in the city’s Brunswick district.

In London, hundreds of stores, offices, pubs and restaurants had closed early Tuesday amid fears of fresh rioting. Normally busy streets were eerily quiet and the smell of plywood filled the air as business owners rushed to secure their shops before nightfall.

In east London’s Bethnal Green district, convenience store owner Adnan Butt, 28, said the situation was still tense.

“People are all at home — they’re scared,” he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government rejected calls by some lawmakers and citizens for strong-arm riot measures that British police generally avoid, such as tear gas and water cannons.

“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 the criminology department at the University of East London.

Cameron recalled Parliament from its summer recess for an emergency debate on the riots Thursday.

Other 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!” in Birmingham, while London Mayor Boris Johnson was heckled on a shattered shopping street in Clapham, south London.

Johnson said the riots would not stop London from “welcoming the world to our city” for the 2012 Olympics.

So far 770 people have been arrested in London and 167 charged — including an 11-year-old boy — and the capital’s prison cells were overflowing. Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said it had teams of lawyers working 24 hours a day to help police decide whether to charge suspects.

A total of 111 officers and 14 members of the public have been hurt.

The violence was triggered by the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was gunned down in Tottenham on Thursday under disputed circumstances.

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. A Saturday protest demanding justice degenerated into a riot, which spread to neighboring parts of London on Sunday and by Monday had spread across the capital.

Duggan’s death resonated because it stirred memories of the 1980s, when many black Londoners felt they were disproportionately stopped and searched by police. Their frustration erupted in violent riots in 1985.

But the rioters who have taken to the streets since Sunday have been extremely diverse — those in central England appeared to be mostly white and working class.

___

Paisley Dodds, Jill Lawless, Danica Kirka and Meera Selva contributed to this report.

———–

Police in England faced a fourth night of rioting, looting and anti-social behaviour last night, mainly in the northwest and midlands.

Manchester - 'Extraordinary levels of violence'

Manchester – ‘Extraordinary levels of violence’

London was reported to be relatively calm – where over 16,000 officers were on duty.

Calm was restored in Greater Manchester by 1am, where a senior officer said police had been faced with ‘extraordinary levels of violence’ in the city centre and Salford.

Trouble was also reported in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Bristol and Gloucester.

278 arrests were reported outside London and 81 took place in the capital, bringing the total to 768 since trouble erupted on Saturday.

Police investigating a large fire which destroyed the House of Reeves furniture store in Croydon have arrested a man on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

The 21-year-old suspect was detained by officers last night and is being held at a south London police station, the Metropolitan Police said.

There have been no other arrests in connection with the incident at this stage, the force added.

In Greater Manchester, fire bombs were thrown at shops and windows were smashed as looters made off with designer clothes, expensive electrical items, jewellery, mobile phones and alcohol.

Youths – many wearing masks and hooded tops – marauded throughout Manchester city centre and Salford shopping precinct from about 5pm yesterday.

Some of those involved looked to be as young as nine or 10.

At a news conference in Manchester last night, Pat Karney, a city councillor, said he had been shocked by the ages of some of the looters.

Elsewhere, a second night of violence ensued on Merseyside as fire engines were targeted by missile-throwing yobs.

Around 200 youths gathered to the south of the city as they roamed from Toxteth to Wavertree causing disorder and damage.

Once again members of the public were told to avoid the Smithdown Road area while officers dealt with the violence.

Trouble also spread to Birkenhead last night with reports of up to 100 youths wrecking vehicles in the Park Road South area.

Merseyside Police have now arrested 50 people since Monday night for incidents of disorder in Liverpool and the Wirral.

Triple murder investigation in Birmingham

Meanwhile, in Birmingham, three men struck by a car while standing on a footpath in the early hours of this morning have died in hospital.

Reports from the scene suggest they were among a group of local Asian men who had been protecting their area from possible looting by masked youths.

Police have begun a murder investigation. One man has been arrested and a car has been recovered.

Boris Johnson urges cuts re-think

Mayor of London Boris Johnson urged the British government to reconsider plans to cut police numbers following widespread rioting.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4‘s Today programme, he said: ‘This is not a time to think about making substantial cuts in police numbers.’

He added it would be a ‘good thing’ if the government ‘had another look’ at the issue.

Mr Johnson also labelled the disturbances across the country ‘a massive own-goal’.

NEWS UPDATE:

British prime minister David Cameron today said police forces will be able to deploy water cannons and plastic bullets to deal with rioters.

In his strongest statement to date about the violence that has erupted since Saturday night, Mr Cameron said he would not let any concern about human rights get in the way of the publication of CCTV pictures of the rioters.

Mr Cameron declared the police would have legal authority to use any tactics they need to employ. “Every contingency is being looked at. Nothing is off the table,” he said.

Speaking after chairing a meeting of the emergency planning committee Cobra (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A), the prime minister anticipated that anybody involved in the rioting who is caught will be sent to prison.

“We needed a fightback and a fightback is under way,” he said outside Downing Street this morning. “We’ve seen the worst of Britain and I also believe we have seen the best of Britain.”

Mr Cameron praised the actions of the Metropolitan Police which ensured that London had a relatively quiet night last night after the extraordinary violence of Monday.

The violence spread, instead, to cities outside the capital. Three people were killed during a hit and run incident in Birmingham. More than 100 arrests were made in the city.

Up to 1,000 people attacked the police in the Manchester suburb of Salford and across greater Manchester 115 arrests were made.

In Nottingham 80 arrests were made after the Canning Circus police station in the centre of the city was firebombed.

“This continued violence is simply not acceptable and it will be stopped. We will not put up with this in our country. We will not allow the culture of fear to exist on our street,” Mr Cameron said.

Mr Cameron also indicated that the scope of an inquiry will go further to examine the kind of value systems that exist in many deprived parts of Britain.

“It is all too clear that we have a big problems with gangs in our country. For too long there has been a lack of focus on the complete lack of respect shown by this group of thugs,” he said.

“There are pockets of our society that are not just broken but frankly sick. When we see children as young as 12 and 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young men with people pretending to help him while they rob him, it is clear that there are things that are badly wrong in our society.”

Mr Cameron added he had spoken about this issue for years. It is a “complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society. People are allowed to feel that the world owes them something that their rights outweigh their responsibilities. That their actions don’t have consequences well they do.”

He believed that British society needs a clearer code of “values and standards” that people can live by and stronger penalties for those that cross the line.

NEWS UPDATE:

 

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gives a statement outside of 10 Downing Street in London August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron gives a statement outside of 10 Downing Street …

LONDON (Reuters) – Youths fought running battles with police in English cities and towns overnight but London, where thousands of extra police were deployed, was largely peaceful after three turbulent nights in which youths rampaged in parts of the capital virtually unchecked.

Manchester and Liverpool in the northwest and Birmingham in central England suffered the worst of the overnight violence, which broke out in north London on Saturday after a protest over a police shooting of a suspect two days earlier.

In Birmingham, police launched a murder inquiry after three Muslim men died after being run over by a car in the mayhem there. A friend of the men told BBC radio they had been part of a group of British Asians protecting their area from looters after attending Ramadan prayers at a mosque.

“The car swerved toward them. It was cold-blooded murder,” the friend said.

London itself was largely quiet, with some 16,000 police — 10,000 more than on Monday — sent onto the streets in a show of force in districts where gangs of hooded youths had looted shops and burned cars and buildings on the previous three nights.

Stephen Kavanagh, deputy assistant commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, said officers would be out in force again on Wednesday night.

“Tonight we are going to plan for the worst again, that is what London deserves,” he told BBC radio.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who cut short a family holiday in Italy to deal with the crisis, was due to chair a second meeting of COBRA, the government’s crisis committee, and recalled parliament, a rare occurrence, to debate the violence.

The looting showed the world an ugly side of London less than a year before it hosts the 2012 Olympic Games, an event officials hope will serve as a showcase for the city.

A visit by an International Olympic Committee went ahead on Tuesday “as planned” and the London organizers of the Games said the violence would not hurt preparations for the Olympics.

The chaos in London, and fears of further disruption, led to the cancellation of an England-Netherlands soccer friendly on Wednesday and the postponement of three club matches.

WINDOWS SMASHED

While heavy policing in London prevented all but a few incidents in the capital, copycat looting and violence erupted in cities and towns to the north and west.

Groups of youths in hooded tops fought running battles with police in Manchester, smashing windows and looting shops, and setting fire to a clothes shop.

In nearby Salford, rioters threw bricks at police and set fire to buildings. A BBC cameraman was attacked. Television pictures showed flames leaping from shops and cars, and plumes of thick black smoke billowing across roads.

“Greater Manchester Police has been faced with extraordinary levels of violence from groups of criminals intent on committing widespread disorder,” Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan said.

“These people have nothing to protest against – there is no sense of injustice or any spark that has led to this. It is, pure and simple, acts of criminal behavior which are the worst I have seen on this scale.”

In Liverpool’s Toxteth district, rioters attacked two fire engines and a fire officer’s car, police said. Earlier, some 200 youths throwing missiles wrecked and looted shops, causing “disorder and damage,” police said.

Police said they had arrested 113 people in Manchester and Salford, and 50 in Liverpool.

In Gloucester, in western England, eight fire crews fought a blaze in a large derelict building, cars were set on fire and groups of youths attacked police with rocks and bottles.

Cars were burned and stores looted in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton in central England; and in Nottingham a gang of young men set fire to a police station. There were also disturbances in Birmingham and Leicester in the Midlands, and Milton Keynes north of London.

In London, commuters hurried home early on Tuesday, shops shut and many shopkeepers boarded their windows.

Gangs have ransacked stores, carting off clothes, shoes and electronic goods, torched cars, shops and homes — causing tens of millions of pounds of damage — and taunted the police.

SPENDING CUTS

Community leaders said the violence in London, the worst for decades in the multi-ethnic capital of 7.8 million, was rooted in growing disparities in wealth and opportunity, but many insisted that greed was the looters’ only motive.

Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters: “This is criminality pure and simple and it has to be confronted and defeated.”

“People should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets,” he said after the first meeting of COBRA, on Tuesday.

The unrest poses a new challenge to Cameron as Britain’s economy struggles to grow while his government slashes public spending and raises taxes to cut a yawning budget deficit — moves some commentators say have aggravated the plight of young people in inner cities.

Police said they had arrested a total of 770 people — one as young as 11 — in London since the looting began on Saturday, and had charged 167 suspects, mainly with burglary and public order offences.

The first riots broke out on Saturday in north London’s Tottenham district, when a protest over the police shooting of a suspect led to violence.

Hundreds of messages of support from the community of Peckham are seen posted on a looted storefront in south London

Police are likely to come under pressure over that incident after a watchdog said on Tuesday there was no evidence that a handgun retrieved by police at the scene had been fired. Reports initially suggested Mark Duggan had shot at police before they shot and killed him.

(Additional reporting by Tim Castle, Paul Hoskins, Adrian Croft, Avril Ormsby, Jon Hemming, Sonya Hepinstall, Jon Boyle, Stefano Ambrogi, Peter Griffiths and Georgina Prodhan; Writing by Tim Pearce)

Fourth night of UK violence

Fresh violence on streets of London

New disturbances reported in London

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