9 Aug 2011

Riots spread to Manchester, Midlands

Riots continue for a fourth successive night in Britain, with the worst scenes of violence, looting and clashes with police taking place in Manchester and the Midlands.

Following three back-to-back nights of rioting all over London, it is in the northwest and the Midlands where the largest numbers of rioters have taken to the streets.

Greater Manchester Police said they were engaged in outbreaks of disorder in both Manchester city centre and Salford.

Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: “We will not allow such mindless criminal damage and wanton violence to go unpunished.”

Around 100 youths have 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.

Officers with dogs then began to patrol the area. A line of officers then blocked the bottom of Market Street at the junction with Cross Street.

Large groups of people began to gather 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.

In Salford Shopping City, a Bargain Booze off-licence has been targeted and windows of a branch of the Money Shop smashed.

Greater Manchester police advises people to stay away from the city centre.

West Midlands Police said they were dealing with sporadic disorder in Wolverhampton and the arson of two vehicles in nearby West Bromwich. They have arrested at least 43 people.

A force spokesman said: “Police in Birmingham are managing a large group of people causing disorder in several areas within the city centre.

“A large team of officers are working in the city centre to restore calm and bring the city back to normality.

“Officers remain concerned that young people are being drawn into unlawful activity and encourage families and communities to contact their children and ensure their young people are safely at home during this period.”

In London, there have been instances of rioting in Canning Town and Enfield.

LIVE BLOG: London riots latest as trouble flares around UK

Earlier, shops and businesses closed early across the capital in anticipation of another night of violent rioting.

In some of the worst affected areas of the city, including Hackney in the east, Ealing in the west, Camden in the north and Clapham in the south, many shops did not even open at all, and a number of those that did have boarded up their windows in a bid to stop looters.

In the capital, police have made 563 arrests to date and have charged 105, and on riots have spread to Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham.

Arrests in London have meant that the cities jail cells are now at capacity, and the Metropolitan police said that should further arrests be made tonight, those in custody will be put in buses and driven to jails outside of the city.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that 16,000 police officers would be on the streets on Tuesday night, almost three times the 6,000 officers out on Monday night.

Nine forces outside of London have also been deployed to support the Met.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said the larger presence will also consider using baton rounds as calls mounted for them to use stronger measures in riots that have been sweeping the capital for the last three nights.

The Met has said that at least 111 officers have been injured since Saturday, when the first riots broke out in Tottenham, when a peaceful protest over the police shooting of Mark Duggan two days earlier led to violence.

Read more: London Riots