UK rioting and looting | Reuters.com
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UK rioting and looting

Live coverage as violence spreads throughout London and to other UK cities.

  • Police forensics officers inspect the scene where three men were killed by a car in the Winson Green area of Birmingham, central England August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Staples

  • Police forensics officers inspect the scene where three men were killed by a car in the Winson Green area of Birmingham, central England August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Darren Staples

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

  • Primary school worker Alexis Bailey (L) attempts to shield his face as he leaves Highbury Magistrates court after he pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal in London August 10, 2011. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

  • Good afternoon, I'm taking over from my colleague Mark Kolmar now and will run this live coverage page until this evening.
  • Here's a summary of today's events so far:

    - Prime Minister David Cameron said "a fight back is under way" to restore law and order to the streets after rioting, looting and arson by gangs of youths spread from London to other cities overnight.

    "We needed a fight back and a fight back is under way," Cameron said after a meeting Wednesday of the government's COBRA committee that deals with national security crises.

    "Whatever resources police need they will get."

    This included baton rounds and water cannon, Cameron said.

    The prime minister branded the unrest, which erupted in poor, inner-city areas of London at the weekend, as nothing more than criminality and made no reference to social and economic conditions which community leaders say sparked the problems.

    "There are pockets of our society that are not just broken but frankly sick," said Cameron, who made fixing "broken Britain" a cornerstone of his premiership.

    - But the spread of the unrest to other cities including Birmingham, Britain's second biggest, means the crisis is anything but over.

    Gangs of youths in hooded tops battled 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. TV pictures showed flames leaping from shops and cars, and plumes of black smoke billowing across roads.

    - "These people have nothing to protest against -- there is no sense of injustice or any spark that has led to this," Assistant Chief Constable Gary Shewan said.

    "It is, pure and simple, acts of criminal behaviour 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.

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

    - Cars were burnt 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 central England, and Milton Keynes north of London.

    The police -- already facing manpower losses due to public spending cuts -- are at full stretch. With thousands of reinforcements sent from regional forces to London, other cities might find their own police ranks depleted.

    - 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 towards them. It was cold-blooded murder," the friend said. The father of one of the men tried to save his dying son with CPR.

    Shopkeepers and local residents in districts of London and other cities were reported to be organising vigilante groups to protect their property.
  • The Metropolitan Police has released a second round of images of people they would like to talk to following the riots and looting in London. Here's their full statement:

    Detectives from Operation Withern are today (Wednesday 10 August) releasing the second tranche of images of people we would like to speak with in relation to recent disorder affecting parts of London.

    A dedicated webpage has gone live displaying the images of people the Metropolitan Police Service wants to speak to in connection with the serious disorder and violence that has been affecting parts of London.

    The link is: www.met.police.uk

    In addition Flickr is hosting the same photos so that the public have as many opportunities as possible to help the MPS identify those who committed violent and criminal acts on London's streets.

    The link is www.flickr.com
  • West Midlands police have also released a statement, including details of the incident which left three British Asian men dead:

    We have had another very difficult night in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.

    During yesterdays early to late evening, we experienced more of the same in terms of groups of young people committing theft and damage. There were groups of between 30 to 40 people and limited disorder in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

    Our responses have been robust with all people committing crime. We have arrested 163 people overnight and we will continue to arrest people – yesterday we executed 25 warrants on 25 addresses where intelligence suggested offenders were. At the height of the disorder, we estimated that officers were arrested one person per minute.

    Today we will continue to carry out arrests using additional information that the public has supplied as a result of pictures we have released on our website as well as forensics information we have gained from premises that enable us to identify offenders. We will continue to make arrests and create, I hope, an obvious deterrent that if people steal from shops and cause damage they will be brought to justice. This is not a game.

    In respect of the incident at 1am in Dudley Road, this is complicated and the facts are still emerging.

    In general terms, shortly after 1am groups of men, believed to be predominantly Asian men, gathered near to the petrol station. At some point a vehicle was driven into a group of men and tragically three have lost their lives. The victims are from Asian Muslim communities in Birmingham.

    One man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. It continues to be a complicated investigation to get to the full truth of what's gone on. We are concerned that it does not lead to more disturbance and violence amongst communities.

    The message at this difficult time would be that people across all communities must trust the police to protect them and we urge people to act with a sense of cool calculation. We know people are worried, concerned and angered but we appeal to people to be calm and have confidence that we can build trust and move on.

    The policing operation continues, 600 public order trained officers are being deployed across the West Midlands area and additional officers tonight from regional colleagues and across the country. We have cancelled all leave for police officers and suspended, where we can, all other operations.

    We have sufficient police available to protect people and people must trust our ability to protect them. We have in excess of 1,000 public order trained officers as well as enhanced policing resources.

    Officers have to make sure that violence is suppressed and we continue to arrest offenders and that everyone feels and understands that they are being protected by police. We would ask for the support of every right-minded person in the West Midlands.

    Anyone with teenage children should make sure they are not participating in any disorder and ideally keep them inside.
  • @SkyNewsBreak tweets: "Police have identified one suspect seen on CCTV mugging injured boy during riots."
  • The mugging @SkyNewsBreak refers to is of course the incident where a group of youngsters pretend to help an injured man (who had his jaw broken) before stealing from his rucksack. The YouTube video of the incident has now been viewed over 1.5 million times.
  • @jangles tweets: "So Cameron says yes to water cannon bbc.in Where does that leave Theresa May as Home Sec who more than once said no?"
  • My colleague Mohammed Abbas has spent a lot of time talking to Hackney residents about the riots. In his latest article, just published on our site about 10 minutes ago, he speaks to several people on a housing estate. Many of them, he writes, resent the media image of teenage thugs in hoodies being behind the riots. Many of the parents were there too, apparently. It's well worth a read, but here's an extract:

    'Residents of a London housing estate laughed at a televised plea by police for parents to call their children and help rein in the youths who looted and burnt swathes of the city.

    Not only were some of the parents at the riots themselves, but many of those taking part were not the hooded, teenage delinquents on which many have pinned the blame for the worst street riots Britain has seen for decades.

    "Some of the parents were there. For some parents it was no big surprise their kids were there. They've gone through this all their lives," said an Afro-Caribbean man of 22 who gave his name as "L," voicing the frustration and anger felt by youth and parents over yawning inequalities in wealth and opportunity.

    "I was on the train today in my work clothes and shoes. All different types took part in the riot. The man next to me was saying everyone who rioted should be gassed. He would never have guessed that I was there, that I took part," he said.'
  • The Telegraph's Heidi Blake reports that shops in Manchester are already closing in the wake of last night's trouble.
  • Volunteers armed with brooms have been out sweeping the streets of Manchester clear of broken glass and debris today, much like Londoners did on Tuesday. My colleague Jonathan Gilbert has just filed a full report on this, and I'll post the link when I get it.
  • PM David Cameron's tour of the areas of England affected by the riots continues; he's now in Wolverhampton, says the BBC.
  • Must-read profile of London rioters from former Iraq + Libya reporter @MohammedReuters - threatened while researching reut.rs
  • A self service sign is seen through a smashed window at a Vodafone store in Manchester. REUTERS/Phil Noble

  • So the question now is if/where more #ukriots tonight or has it largely run its course. Thoughts?
  • A father of one of the men killed in Birmingham last night has described rushing to help a dying man hit by a car only to find it was his 21-year-old son. Reuters correspondent Avril Ormsby has sent us this report:

    Tariq Jahan told reporters: "I heard the thud, ran around and I saw three people on the ground.

    "My instinct was to help the three people. I didn't know who they were, who'd been injured. I helped the first man, and somebody from behind told me my son was lying behind me.

    "So I started CPR on my own son. My face was covered in blood, my hands were covered in blood."

    Police launched a murder inquiry after all three Muslim men died. A 32-year-old man has since been arrested.

    The men were part of a group of British Asians attempting to protect their area from looters after attending Ramadan prayers at a mosque, a friend of the men told BBC radio.

    They acted after seeing gangs break into a petrol station and social club, and neighbours being beaten up, Jahan said.

    Riots spread to England's second city on Tuesday after three nights of violence in London.

    "Why, why?," Jahan said. "I don't understand. We are here defending the community of all the problems that are going on in the country. He was trying to help his community."

    He said his son, Haroon, a mechanic, was well-liked and well-known in the community.

    "You lose your son, I can't describe to anyone what it feels like to lose your son," he said.
  • London was like a ghost town last night, with many shops closing early and boarding up their windows to avoid trouble. It looks as if the same pattern is emerging in Manchester this evening. Extra police have been deployed and lots of retailers are shutting their doors early.
  • @ianbirrell tweets: "Salford council threatening to evict anyone found rioting & looting, saying anyone who can do this to their own city is not welcome there"
  • Apparently Greenwich council has followed this up with a similar threat to evict anyone found rioting and looting.
  • We're not such a bad nation after all, it seems. somethingniceforashraf.tumblr.com
  • Analysis: Riots shake faith in UK austerity, stability tinyurl.com
  • Yes. Live and well and real. Just not in the middle of a full-scale riot at the moment. West London quiet, significant police presence
  • Just seen three police vans from Cumbria constabulary on the Harrow Road ... that's a long way from home. myloc.me
  • Seems largely quiet across UK tonight - skirmish between police and vigilantes in one part of London but that about it #ukriots
  • Special report: The perils of Paulson tinyurl.com
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