England latest news. London riots spread accross England: Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham!
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After last weekend two nights of violence and looting following protests at Mark Duggan’s death on Thursday, London Police and residents are again bracing themselves for disruption.
The today riots began in Hackney with a small blaze of a terraced house, but the flames quickly spread and appeared to have engulfed all three floors.
Local police officers said shops in Hackney began closing their shutters after hearing “rumours”of trouble initially emanating from BlackBerry Messenger exchanges. Most of the stores had locked up by early afternoon as support officers began arriving in increasing numbers in the vicinity of Hackney Central railway station and three masked youths riding bicycles appeared on the main shopping thoroughfare of Mare Street.
The new street violence started shortly after a large group of police detained two men against the wall of Hackney’s Old Town Hall
The new street violence started shortly after a large group of police detained two men against the wall of Hackney’s Old Town Hall building, now a betting shop, and a crowd gathered to watch, many of them photographing the events. After some brief skirmishes and an angry verbal tirade against a police cluster by a young woman in the graveyard to the rear of the betting shop, an officer shouted to a colleague to “get the Natos,” a reference to riot helmets.
Groups of rioters began attacking the officers at about 16:20 p.m. local time, throwing rocks and a bin at officers.
A line of riot police was confronting people, some of them masked, while police helicopters were flying low overhead.
Some of the youths tried to rush the police line, they were throwing rocks. The police pushed back, sending the crowds running down Mare Street.
Police vehicles and officers in helmets holding riot shields eventually blocked off access to Mare Street south of its pedestrian Narrow Way section and the railway bridge, as buses backed up along adjoining Amhurst Road.
The rioters were about 100 running battles with police at the Bethnal Green end of Mare Street. Youths were looting shops, including the boarded-up Texaco garage. Bottle banks on Mare Street have been upended to provide ammunition for launching at police. Many of them were walking around with spoils of their looting, swigging from bottles of Martell.
Pale, the owner of the looted Texaco garage on Mare Street said:
“They just barged in, took everything … that’s 24 years of my life gone. I’ve never seen anything like that. I didn’t try to stop them, my life is worth more than that.”
Even the Co-operative Funeral Care Home on Mare Street was boarded up – next door they are looting the Cash X-Change.
Reactions of the viewers varied from a man telling an officer moving a youth on to:
“Get your hands off him, pig!”
to an afterschool club worker declaring to police that
“These kids shouldn’t be out here, they should be back in their yard,”
and saying that if she was in charge of dealing with rioters she’d “tear gas their asses”.
Traffic was backed up, buses were stopped, most of them being empty and hit by stones. Police cars were also being smashed by youths, who were armed with wooden poles and metal bars. Looters also smashed their way into shops, including a JD Sports store, before police lines dispersed the group. Planks of wood taken from a lorry were then hurled towards riot officers.
Trains were not stopping at Hackney Central and buses are being diverted from the area.
Violence has also broken out in Peckham, South London, where a bus has been torched on Peckham High Street.
In nearby Lewisham, a trail of bins and a number of vehicles were on fire.
At 7 p.m., local time, police have regained control of Mare Street.
A large numbers of masked youths were still in the area at that moment. Car burned out on Ellingfort road off Mare Street.
A policeman says they were busy “sterilizing the area”.
Boris Johnson, London’s mayor cut short his holiday to return to the city, where more than 200 people have been arrested and 35 officers injured.
Home Secretary, Theresa May also returned early from holiday, to meet Acting Metropolitan Police (Met) Commissioner Tim Godwin and other senior officers.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Kavanagh said they discussed the police response to the violence.
“They were looking at preparations for tonight (Monday) to make sure any violence is dealt with quickly.”
Theresa May condemned the riots as “sheer criminality” and said those responsible would “face the consequences of their actions”.
“The riots in Tottenham on Saturday night and the subsequent disturbances in other parts of London are totally unacceptable.”
She also paid tribute to the bravery of police officers and urged local communities “to work constructively with the police to help them bring these criminals to justice”.
Theresa May said at least 215 people had been arrested and 25 people charged.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Kavanagh said there were “significant resources” on the streets, with a third more officers on duty than on Sunday.
“What we can see is that the Metropolitan Police are getting police officers there in numbers”.
“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.”
He also admitted relations with the family of the man shot dead by police could have been handled better.
In addition, Stephen Kavanagh said:
“I want to apologise to the Duggan family because I think both the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and the Metropolitan Police could have managed that family’s needs more effectively.”