London on lockdown and Cameron flies home: Police face gangs armed with petrol bombs and poles on THIRD night of riots and cynical lootingViolence in Hackney, Peckham, Deptford, Lewisham, Clapham and Croydon this evening
- Prime Minister David Cameron is returning from Italy tonight to chair COBRA meeeting
- Met's acting commissioner Tim Godwin urged parents to get their children off the streets
- Police in Birmingham say several shops have been attacked
- 300 officers drafted in from 12 other forces to bring unrest under control
- 215 people arrested since Saturday night - including one aged 11 - and 25 charged
Last updated at 9:56 PM on 8th August 2011
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Violence has erupted across London tonight as rioters surrounded police vans, looted lorries and targeted shops in a series of attacks across the capital.
The violence began in Hackney when a mob of hooded youths began hurling missiles at officers and setting fire to bins and cars. Minutes later similar scenes started in Lewisham, spreading to Peckham, Deptford, Croydon in south London this evening.
A furniture store is currently alight in Croydon as firefighters battle to bring it under control. Disturbances have also been reported in Harrow, in the north west of the city and in Clapham in the south, where shops are being looted.
This evening Downing Street announced Prime Minister David Cameron is returning home from his holiday in Italy tonight to chair a Cobra meeting tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, police in Birmingham said several shops have been attacked, near to the Bullring shopping centre, and property stolen as youths rampage around the city centre.
Sources say another 300 police officers from 12 other police forces have been drafted to help bring the violence under control in London.
Croydon: Arsonists started a blaze at a furniture store in Croydon - the latest borough to come under attack from rioters
Police officers in riot gear block a road near a burning car on a street in Hackney as youths hurl missiles at officers
Looters raid the Orange phone shop in New Street Birmingham in copy-cat riots which have sprung up in the city
Other areas of the capital were braced for violence this afternoon with workers barricading their shops in Stratford and Islington.
Barriers were erected outside Westfield Shopping Centre and Kilburn High Street was closed off. Police were also on the streets in Harlesden.
In Hackney, youths set fire to cars, rubbish bins and were spotted looting shops and setting off fireworks in the direction of police. At least 30 riot vans were spotted in the area with three helicopters.
In Lewisham cars were set alight and several bins near the Town Hall, while in Peckham a bus was set alight by arsonists. Buses were re-routed away from Peckham and Lewisham whilst the violence was brought under control. Similar scenes emerged in Deptford, with one building set alight.
Commenters in Hackney earlier this afternoon said the thugs had looted Ladbrokes and JD Sports shop and other eye-witnesses suggested that the police were trying to prevent rioters from trashing Hackney’s Town Hall. Meanwhile, a man was seen on a tube train dressed in black and carrying a copper rod as he headed into the riots.
The violence has spread to Deptford this evening - including this building which has been set on fire. It follows violence in Hackney, Lewisham and Peckham today
A car is set on fire by arsonists in Hackney as the unrest continues across boroughs in London tonight
Violence: A masked man walks past a burning car outside a Carhartt store in Hackney this afternoon. Violence is also taking place in Peckham and Lewisham
Police in riot gear drag a man along a street in Hackney whilst looters in hooded tops and scarves raid the Carhartt store with one man making off with a pair of jeans
A car burns outside a Carhartt store in Hackney where youths also looted the store
Hooded youths loot a Carhartt store in Hackney by ripping out a roller-shutter door before making off with clothes
A burning car in Hackney this afternoon. Violence has also begun in Peckham, south London with shops being attacked and a bus has also been set on fire
Youths on the streets of Hackney this afternoon set fire to bins, pictured, as well as cars, and were seen throwing stones, bricks and glass at police
Chaos: Rioters surround police vans in Mare Street, Hackney, this afternoon as violence erupts again throughout the capital
An eyewitness said: ‘One man on the tube was dressed all in black – he even had gloves on – and he had a big copper rod tucked inside his jumper. At Bethnal Green it dropped onto the floor and lots of people looked quite alarmed and got off at the stop.’
Josefinehedlund tweeted: ‘Kids smashing up police cars outside Tesco in Hackney Central Getting closer to my neighbour, scary.’
Another user, Matthew Paul Balman tweeted: 'Just seen some live pics of London and the riots, wtf is going on. Thugs throwing chairs and facing off with the police.'
Twitter user antoinette213 wrote: 'This is a madness. I'm seeing these youths live just opening up some truck and emptying it.'
Many warned their friends and family to stay inside and pleaded with people not to incite violence on the website.
Much of the violence seems to be centred around Mare Street, a main road that runs near London Fields.
Detaining suspects: Police in Tottenham try to contain people found inside a vandalised store in Tottenham Retail Park. Violence and looting spread across London, from Tottenham in the north to Brixton in the south
User Vicky Simister described how youths were arming themselves: 'big truck being unloaded by hoodies on Mare St - taking wood sticks out and throwing at police.'
In Stratford, workers were told to barricade their shops and offices and go home early as the Met feared the most violent confrontations yet in the wake of the shooting of suspected gangster Mark Duggan.
Twitter was ablaze with rallying calls for further looting and clashes with police, following two nights in which businesses were destroyed by rampaging gangs of masked youths.
As hundreds of extra officers were drafted into the capital, shops closed their doors early and staff were sent home amid fears of further damage.
Stratford Shopping Centre in east London was closed after police warned managers that the area could turn into a potential flashpoint.
Centre manager Andrew Norton said: 'People's safety is absolutely paramount, which is why we've closed early. The whole situation's really quite bizarre.'
Nearby, the Stratford Picturehouse cinema told audiences to go home and closed its doors hours early.
The sprawling Westfield shopping centre in west London also added to the list of businesses fearing attacks tonight and built barriers around its entrance.
This afternoon, police said 215 people had been arrested since the violence began in Tottenham on Saturday night, and 25 people charged.
Haringey Council also said the damage to roads and pavements in Tottenham on Saturday night was in the region of £227,000.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Tottenham MP David Lammy (left) meet local residents and business people including jeweller Steve Moore (far right) who lost his shop after rioting broke out in Tottenham on Saturday
Crash and carry: Footage shows suspected looters carrying goods from the JD Sports store at Tottenham Hale Retail Park. Police admitted they were too stretched to prevent widespread theft from vandalised shops
More than 100 arrests: Police detain two women outside a damaged Currys store in Brixton. Widespread rioting and looting took place across many parts of London
This afternoon Chief Superintendent Nick Ephgrave, Lambeth Police borough commander, confirmed that three non-fatal stabbings took place in the borough during yesterday's riots.
He said he had visited an injured police office in hospital and added that 'his face was covered in stitches'.
A Scotland Yard homicide team has been brought in to investigate the riots, according to Mr Ephgrave, speaking at a meeting with Lambeth Council and community leaders at Lambeth Town Hall.
said the extra resources and the 'full use of all their technology' would allow police to catch those responsible for the violence and looting last night.
He said the police have 'more than 30 prisoners' following the disturbances.
A Section 60 order is in place in the area today, allowing police to stop anyone they suspect may commit violent acts.
Mr Ephgrave said much of the violence was 'pre-planned' using 'PIN-protected messaging serviced' such as Blackberry messenger that are 'difficult to access' by police.
He said police are also looking at Facebook and Twitter for evidence of any criminal planning.
Council leader Steve Reed and many community leaders present at the meeting expressed concerns over police resources.
Lee Jasper, chair of Brixton Splash, a community event which took place yesterday, said he knew police had extra resources in the area and that either 'they weren't enough or they weren't deployed properly'.
He said he was at the Currys store where looting took place for an hour from 10.45pm last night before police arrived.
Mr Ephgrave said the outbreaks of rioting across London meant a lot of the reserves at his disposal were deployed to other areas at the time.
The alert came as plans for the Notting Hill Carnival were thrown into jeopardy amid fears that the festival could be a focal point to violence,
The carnival, which attracts up to two million people each year, could see the kind of violent clashes with police that erupted in Tottenham on Saturday evening.
There are concerns that the West Indian event over the August bank holiday could even be cancelled in an attempt to prevent more riots.
Police leaders have been meeting community leaders in a desperate bid to calm tensions over the clashes which were sparked by the shooting of 'gangster' Mark Duggan last week.
The developments came as Home Secretary Theresa May cut short her summer holiday to fly home and deal with the crisis.
Protection: A guard dog keeps watch inside a shop damaged during the disturbances in Enfield
Aftermath: A fire crew puts out a burning car in Enfield. Emergency services were stretched as violence, looting and arson attacks sprang up around London
Scotland Yard has also promised more officers on the streets of London tonight as the Met prepares for a third night of violence.
In a bid to quell the unrest, police have warned that Twitter users could face arrest for inciting violence.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh confirmed officers were looking at the website as part of investigations into widespread looting and rioting.
Clashes between masked rioters and police, vandalism and looting continued into the early hours of this morning as questions were raised about the shooting of suspected gangster Mark Duggan on Thursday.
In Enfield, North London, a mob of 200 anarchists last night smashed their way into shops and lobbed concrete slabs at police cars following Saturday’s riot in nearby Tottenham.
A jewellery store, a McDonald's and a Tesco were set upon in Enfield, while in Brixton, South London, hundreds of teenagers looted a Foot Locker store before setting it on fire, requiring six engines to battle the blaze at 1.30am.
Police reported that more than 100 arrests took place across the capital overnight.
Commander Christine Jones, said: 'Officers responding to sporadic disorder in a number of boroughs made more than 100 arrests throughout last night and early this morning.
'This is in addition to the 61 arrests made on Saturday night and Sunday morning.'
Three London fire engines also came under attack during the second night of rioting in London. One engine from Brixton station being targeted while actually fighting a blaze started by looters raiding the Foot Locker store.
Two others from West Norwood and Edmonton were on their way to blazes when they were set upon. Windows were smashed as mobs of looters hurled bricks and other missiles at the engines.
She said there had been 16 charges in relation to offences including burglary, knives, theft and violent disorder.
Seventeen people have been bailed and one has been cautioned. One person was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, 11 are awaiting CPS advice and 15 are ongoing inquiries, she added.
She went on: 'Officers are shocked at the outrageous level of violence directed against them. At least nine officers were injured overnight in addition to the 26 injured on Saturday night.
'We will not tolerate this disgraceful violence. The investigation continues to bring these criminals to justice.'
And, in an interview on Radio 4 today, deputy assistant commissioner Kavanagh said: 'I can be very assured that there will be even more officers out there, even more committed and braver than they have been so far, to make sure London stays as safe as possible.'
He added that there were three times as many officers on duty on Sunday as there were on Saturday, and he promised that even more would be deployed tonight - brought in from forces outside the Met.
Claudia Webbe, who helped set up the Operation Trident's black-on black gun crime unit, told BBC’s Today Programme that she condemned the criminals seeking to exploit the death ‘for their own personal gain’ as ‘clearly wrong’. However she sought to differentiate between the looters and those furious with police over Mr Duggan’s killing.
Returning: Home Secretary Theresa May, left, has cut short her holiday to deal with the crisis but David Cameron has remained abroad
She said: ‘There was an element of people who were intent on criminality, violence and looting. There were also however an element of people that were seeking to, in the attacks on police, there were some who were playing out tensions that had arisen before, such as their feelings on stop and search.
‘It appeared to me that those who were attacking the police directly, those who were not carrying out the criminal and violent attacks and the looting, there were clearly those who were attacking the police directly, and anything they regarded as an ''institution'', who were venting out, I believe, issues to do with inequality, decades of unemployment, poverty, stop and search being over-policed, and they were venting that.'
A teenager today told how she received a BlackBerry message telling her to bring knives and hammers to riot in Enfield.
The 17-year-old girl, known only as Alice, said: 'It was all planned. On BlackBerry Messenger there was a broadcast to everyone, which goes to everyone on someone's contact list, saying: ''Everyone in Edmonton, Wood Green, Enfield, everyone in North London, link up at Enfield Town station at 4.00 sharp. Just bring knives, trollies, hammers, the works. Re-broadcast this''.'
Last night there were also reports of disturbances Walthamstow and Islington in North London, and sporadic clashes with police in Elephant and Castle in South London and Shepherd's Bush in the west.
Three police officers were hospitalised after they were struck by a fast-moving vehicle while trying to make arrests after looting in Chingford Mount, Waltham Forest.
And in a dramatic development, the killing of father-of-four Mark Duggan, who was shot dead on Thursday by armed officers, came under fresh scrutiny.
There were claims that a bullet found lodged in a police radio was a force-issue bullet, meaning Mr Duggan had not fired on officers as police suggested.
- Downing Street called the rioting ‘utterly unacceptable’, while Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘Such disregard for public safety and property will not be tolerated’;
- Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he was ‘appalled at the scenes of violence and destruction’, but refused calls to return from holiday;
- Mr Duggan’s family condemned the violence but insisted he was not armed;
- It emerged that the police commander in charge of Tottenham jetted off on holiday hours before the riot despite warnings there could be a backlash.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard came under criticism after it admitted that it had not anticipated the violence, despite community warnings of a backlash over the shooting of Duggan.
And the government was under fire for not having a senior minister in London to visibly take charge of the situation. So far Lynne Featherstone, a junior Home Office minister, has been the highest-ranking government spokeswoman to appear on Television over the riots.
Home Secretary Theresa May, who has been speaking to Met chiefs and who has made a number of press-release statements, is reportedly flying back to the UK from holidays to meet police chiefs face-to-face.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, is back from holiday today and is the most senior minister in London.
In other developments in the wake of some of the worst riots in Britain for years:
The riots started on Saturday night in an area of North London with a particularly resonant history of violence. In 1985 Broadwater Farm estate, where Mr Duggan hailed from, was the scene of devastating riots when a police officer was hacked to death.
No entry: Police cordon off an area in Enfield on Sunday night as they try to contain the civil unrest and protect shops, homes and civilians
Destroyed: These two cars, both belonging to the police, sit in the middle of Tottenham High Road after the rioters set them alight
Investigation: Two officers examine the shell of one car as a group of passengers on a bus view the scene
Shops under attack: A member of staff surveys the scene of a break-in at a Sainsburys supermarket in Enfield, on Sunday night
Over the weekend, the streets of Tottenham were once again ablaze as crowds of 500 marauding yobs set fire to police cars, a double decker bus and buildings and shops.
Twenty-six police officers were injured and eight were taken to hospital in the clashes after petrol bombs, bricks and bottles were hurled at them. One suffered serious head injuries when he was hit in the face with a brick. Another was speared with a scaffold pole in the stomach, causing serious internal injuries.
Under cover of darkness, masked thugs looted trolley loads of luxury goods including plasma TVs and stereo systems. Teenagers and adults turned up in cars and filled their boots with stolen items from a retail park, unimpeded by police.
Children as young as seven took part in the violence according to witness David Akinsanya, 46, who told The Sun: 'I saw kids as young as seven or eight running up the street with their faces covered.'
Last night 55 people had been arrested for offences including violent disorder, burglary and theft. The riots erupted hours after a protest vigil demanding ‘justice’ over the shooting of 29-year-old Duggan by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s elite firearms squad.
Crowd: Large groups of youths gathered throughout Enfield town centre, with G. Mantella, a family owned jewellers broken in to and looted
New outbreak: Youths congregated on Enfield High Street yesterday afternoon, attacking the HMV store, while also using concrete blocks to damage this police car
Waiting game: A team of riot officers were engaged in a stand-off with the youths on a street in Enfield town centre
The shooting provoked fury as internet rumours spread suggesting the father-of-four had been executed after he put his gun on the ground.
Met Commander Adrian Hanstock said: ‘Last night’s disorder and violence in Tottenham was completely unacceptable.
‘There was no indication that the protest would deteriorate into the levels of criminal and violent disorder that we saw.
‘We believe that certain elements, who were not involved with the vigil, took the opportunity to commit disorder and physically attack police officers, verbally abuse fire brigade personnel and destroy vehicles and buildings.’
He said that the officers concentrated on stopping violence which took precedence over looting.
Local MP David Lammy said the community ‘had the heart ripped out of it’ by ‘mindless, mindless people’.
The outbreak of violence has raised fears about whether the Metropolitan Police would have adequate resources to cope during the Olympics if there were a similar attack during the 2012 Games.
Last night Scotland Yard had to call in reinforcements from Thames Valley, Essex, Surrey, City of London and Kent police after 200 thugs smashed their way into shops in Enfield, north London.
Police said three officers were injured in a separate incident at Brixton, south London.
Throughout last night and the early hours of this morning emergency services were dealing with disturbances across London as fresh bouts of rioting and looting broke out.
Police officers were being deployed to respond to 'copycat criminal activity' across the capital, with disturbances erupting in several boroughs in north,
south and east London, including reports of trouble in Brixton, Enfield, Walthamstow and Islington.
Three officers were taken to hospital after being hit by a fast-moving vehicle at 12.45am, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
The officers had been in the process of making arrests in Chingford Mount, Waltham Forest, after a shop was looted by youths.
'Two officers are believed to have superficial injuries and the other has an injury to his knee,' the spokesman said.
What happened here? A young boy seems lost in thought as he reacts to the burnt out metal of a car
Shot dead: Mark Duggan was killed by armed police last Thursday - but there are suggestion he did not open fire
Meanwhile, a fight broke out when rival gangs attended King's College Hospital after two victims of minor stabbings were admitted, police said. The hospital has brought in extra security for the rest of the night and officers remain on scene dealing with the initial stabbings, the spokesman added.
Six fire engines were dispatched to deal with a blaze at a Foot Locker shop in Brixton, south London, and witnesses saw riot police clash with looters at a Currys store nearby. Police say the looting across London was carried out by 'small and mobile' groups.
As violence spread, around 50 youths gathered in Oxford Circus, central London, and caused damage to property.
Elsewhere, more than 30 youths, many in masks, vandalised and looted shops in Walthamstow Central, including BHS.
'Officers attended the area and the situation is currently under control. Groups of youths are continuing to target shops in Waltham Forest and officers are on scene,' a police spokesman said.
The windscreen of a police vehicle was smashed after groups caused a disturbance in Islington, and goods were stolen from a Tesco store in Ponders End.
The spokesman added: 'As a result of quick and decisive action by police numerous arrests have been made at various locations.'
One witness Lewis Whyld, a photographer for the Press Association, described the scenes at a Currys store in Brixton: 'A couple of 100 youths were rioting and looting. Riot police went in to get them out and there was a big fight in the street.
'Youths were throwing rocks and bottles and there was a bin on fire. They used a fire extinguisher to push the police back so they could get back into Currys and continue taking things out.'
He said there did not seem to be enough police on the scene to deal with the group and that many of the looters were wearing hoods and had scarves covering their faces.
Damping down: Firemen yesterday continued to douse the buildings set alight during riots
Wrecked: Two police cars used as a road block were set alight during the troubles
Debris: Bricks from the previous night's riots litter Tottenham High Road
Union Point: The Tottenham landmark that survived the Blitz... reduced to a smouldering shell in one night by the rioters
Night and day: The Carpet Right store in Tottenham High Road burns out of control during the riot and, the following day, is a burned-out wreck
The Carpet Right building is a landmark in Tottenham, one of the more historic and recognisable blocks in the area.
The building's official name is Union Point and it stands on a prominent corner site on Tottenham High Street, just a stone's throw away from White Hart Lane - the home ground of football team Tottenham Hotspur.
Built in 1930 by the London Co-operative Society (LCS), the Art Deco style of Union Point is said to typify the Co-operative Movement between the two world wars.
The grand three-storey building was embellished with LCS motifs along each wall, and above the entrance the words 'LCS 1930' were carved in two-foot-high lettering in stone.
The building was an LCS department store serving Tottenham before it was bought by Allied Carpets.
With the Co-op store closing years ago, the upper floors of the building were sold by Allied Carpets to the Metropolitan Housing Trust, which converted them into 26 one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats.
The properties were put on sale to local people as part of a shared ownership housing scheme, with priority given to Haringey Council tenants.
Inside the property there were two stairways to access the flats and there was also a communal roof terrace for residents' use.
The store section of the building was later taken over by Carpet Right three years ago when Allied Carpets moved to a nearby retail park in Bowes Park - also affected by the riots.
Sheila Park, from Historic Tottenham, told MailOnline: ‘I’m really upset by what’s happened. The Co-op building was an interesting old building and can never be replaced. I was involved in agreeing to convert the upper floors into flats and now every person living there has lost their home.’
She added: ‘The building opposite at 639 Tottenham High Street was also set fire. It is 100 years old and was the old Gas Light and Coke Company. It really is dreadful.’
Tory peer Lord Harris of Peckham, who founded the Carpet Right chain in 1988, said he was shocked and angered that the building had been targeted.
He told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme: 'I know they had protests against the police, and I can understand that. What I can't understand is... they smashed up the buildings and took stock out of the shops. That's not protesting, that's thieving.'
He spoke of his sorrow for the innocent victims, some of whom lived above the Carpet Right showroom, left homeless by the weekend's violence and pledged to help them. He said: 'My real sympathies are with all those people in the flats above me who are working class - and I don't mean that rudely - that have got nothing. They have only got the clothes they are in. I want to try to help them... give them money, or help them with clothes. I feel very, very sorry for them.'
Former glory: The Union Point building in a photo from February this year. A former Co-op store, the Art Deco building had been renovated as a retail store and apartments