London has suffered a third consecutive night of widespread violence and looting, while similar scenes in Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol have resulted in dozens of arrests.
Groups of youths attacked shops and started fires in Peckham, Croydon, Lewisham and Hackney and several other areas, while emergency services struggled to cope.
There were incidents of looting and violence on Woolwich High Street, where a police car was said to have been burned.
Ealing was also targeted, with cars attacked and a Tesco shop plundered. It was reported that looters in Ealing attempted to break in to a Bang & Olufsen shop.
Camden also saw running battles between police and rioters throughout the early hours.
The acting head of the Metropolitan Police urged the public to clear London's streets and called for parents to keep their children at home on Monday evening, as the atmosphere on London's streets became increasingly volatile.
Shops were reported ablaze in Ilford, east London. In Croydon, south London, a huge fire raged at the Reeves Corner furniture store, destroying the 100-year-old building. The store's owner, Trevor Reeves, called the destruction "mindless thuggery".
In Clapham Junction shops, including a large department store, were looted by up to 200 youths forcing the Metropolitan Police to turn to a fleet of armoured vehicles to push back the crowd.
Video posted to social networking sites depicted shops there including Wimpy and a bookmakers being attacked.
Incidents of violence and looting were also reported in Birmingham, where the BBC said that 35 people had been arrested. There were also reports of unrest in Toxteth, Liverpool, which witnessed similar civil disturbances in the early eighties.
Avon and Somerset Police urged Bristol residents to avoid the city centre amid reports of looting.
In response to the attacks Prime Minister David Cameron is returning back from holiday over night to chair a meeting of COBRA first thing tomorrow. It was also reported that Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were cancelling holiday plans too.
Earlier in Peckham and Lewisham police lines stopped local residents from entering the area. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Peckham Rye resident Michelle (surname withheld) described the scene as “terrifying”.
“There are helicopters flying above. The police has blocked off the main street. From where I live about three minutes from the High Street I can see a vehicle on fire. I think it’s a bus. It looks as though a shop is also on fire.
“The police closed the station at around 6.30pm, so local residents are trying to find other ways home. I managed to get home and I’m not going back out. Mobile phones aren’t working too well. There’s barely any connection.”
The events in Lewisham and Peckham follow similar breakouts of violence in Hackney, east London, earlier today.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, who has flown home from holiday to deal with the riots, said:“Those responsible for the violence and looting will be brought to justice.”
West Midlands Police have announced that they have arrested 389 people in connection with the riots.
Peter Hitchens: "People riot because they are wicked, selfish and lawless...we have dismantled every form of authority in society."
For the next hour Sky News is hosting a debate on the riots, with journalists Peter Hitchens and David Aaronovitch. It could get interesting...
|@ SkyNewsBreak : 186 Metropolitan Police officers reported injured since Saturday|
|@ SkyNewsBreak : Metropolitan Police have arrested 950 people so far since starts of the riots, 457 of those have been charged|
The met police have arrested a thug for robbing an injured student during the riots.
He is one of 950 people who have been arrested in connection with violence, disorder and looting by the metropolitan police. A total of 457 people have been charged.
|@ SkyNewsBreak : Met Police: Roughly half of 240 people who have appearedin court so far charged over London riots were under 18|
|@ TimGatt : K Clarke tells Sky:"This is worse than 25 yrs ago[...]There are several sections of the population that are much more totally irresponsible"|
Mr Cameron has set himself an enormous task here, effectively pledging to reverse the drift of popular culture in Britain and change the way the country thinks and feels.
While this continues, Met police have been making more arrests and raided properties - officers in Brixton, south London, recovered clothing and an iPod,
In Pimlico, West London, they found £1,600 in cash and "thousands of pounds worth of Hugo Boss clothing - all still with the labels on."
“In recent weeks the prison population has reached record highs and prison and probation officers are being increasingly overstretched. It is vital for public safety and for security in our prisons and the youth secure estate that prison and probation staff get the resources and support they need", he said in a statement released on Thursday.
|@ itv_news : 11-year-old girl charged with criminal damage following disturbances in Nottingham has been given a referral order #riots|
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today announced a £50 million fund to help make major long term improvements to the capital’s town centres and high streets damaged by the recent disturbances.
|@ frances_skynews : Ian Jones, 36 unemployed pleads guilty to trespass of a building containing a cash machine with 43k in it.|
|@ NigelNelson : Possibly the best, most thoughtful, speech @Ed_Miliband has made since becoming leader. Close study recommended|
Other games will go ahead at the start of the premier league, but start a bit earlier, David Cameron tells MPs.
"Other matches should go ahead but starting earlier on in the day. I think that is a very sensible decision."
The package of support being announced today includes:
A £10m recovery fund to help councils with the immediate costs of making their areas safe, clear and clean again. This fund can be used, for example, to clear debris left strewn in streets and make immediate repairs to pavements and roads. This Recovery scheme can also be used to support councils who use their powers to offer council tax discounts or council tax relief to those whose homes have been damaged but are still habitable.
A £20m High Street Support Scheme - funded jointly by the Departments for Communities and Local Government, and Business Innovation and Skills, which will be made available immediately, for the streets and areas where businesses were affected by the rioting. The money is intended to finance those measures that will get business trading again and meet short term costs. Councils will distribute the money and could use it to reduce business rates, finance building repairs and encourage customers back to the affected areas.
In addition, seriously damaged homes and business properties will be taken off the respective valuation lists, and Mr Pickles has strongly encouraged the Valuation Office Agency and local authorities to do so as promptly as possible. This removes any liability for council tax or business rates.
Councils have the power to offer rate relief for local firms, but must pay a quarter of the cost; central government automatically pays for three quarters of the cost. This Scheme will help reimburse councils for their costs, to facilitate immediate and real financial help to be given to small and medium firms to rebuild their local businesses. Business rates are typically the third biggest outgoing for firms after rent and staff.Re-housing funding to meet the immediate costs of emergency accommodation for families who have been made homeless by the disturbances. As these are exceptional circumstances, Mr Pickles has confirmed that his Department would meet these costs under established homelessness funding processes.
Commenting on the government's measures to help businesses affected by the riots, Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said:
“We welcome these announcements by the government, as they offer practical assistance at what is a terrible time for many businesses across London and the UK. We are also pleased to see that the government recognises the importance of getting businesses back up and running.
"It is important, however, that businesses in affected areas that did not experience any direct damage are able to take advantage of the measures announced today, where they have suffered an indirect impact.
"Ultimately though it will be the enduring spirit of London’s businesses that will see them recover from these appalling events, and ensure that the capital remains the best place in the world to do business.”
This Government has a clear message to the rioters: your one night of madness could have disastrous consequences for the rest of your lives, and for your entire family. .
|@ nickdebois : RT @stewartgjgreen: @nickdebois asks the P M to get schools to assist with identifying rioters and looters <and a good idea it is>thanks!|
"Further militarisation" won't help, she tells the PM
|@ GregHands : Ed Miliband loved seeing his brother slip up there on "elected chief constables", visibly smiling at the mistake.|
David Cameron: It's about giving police more power.
|@ craigawoodhouse : Michael Gove using ipad on Commons front bench. Wonder if he is re-watching newsnight row with Harman?|
He wants "as many people to be nicked" as possible
|@ TimGatt : How Cameron can control a U.S. based site like Da Twitta, I don't know.|
Reverse police cuts, reverse soft prison plans of current Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.
Cameron is standing firm on this, cites police constables who agree with him in Thames Valley.