UK Riots: Focus Shifts To Manchester And The Midlands
The UK is enduring its fourth night of rioting with pockets of unrest reported in the Midlands and Manchester. For the first time since the disturbances began on Saturday, the focus has shifted away from the capital, with Manchester worst hit. Reports suggest as many as four to five hundred young men rampaged through the city centre looting shops and setting fires, following earlier unrest in Salford.
In an emotional press conference, assistant chief constable Gary Sherwan of Manchester Police said, "levels of violence in the city are "unprecedented". He also assured residents that the force was "determined to clamp down on youths running riot" and that it would be "business as usual tomorrow".
Rioting also broke out in West Bromwich, West Midlands, however subsequent police reports suggest that the group responsible later dispersed. Smaller scale rioting has also been reported in Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Leicester. In Nottingham a police station was firebombed.
In Enfield, scene of Sunday's looting, vigilante groups have taken to the streets to protect homes and business from mob rule, while in Southall near Ealing, hundreds of Sikhs are standing guard outside their temple in an act of defiance against the rioters.
Earlier today, sixteen thousand police officers were brought in to patrol the streets of London as Britain braced itself for a tense evening.
Extra officers have were drafted to the capital from as far away as Newcastle. The Prime Minister David Cameron announced a massive surge of police in London following three nights of violence across the capital. Police have admitted they may use plastic bullets tonight if there is serious disorder.
More than 400 people have been injured after three days of rioting in London. On Tuesday afternoon businesses across the city closed early as rumours spread that yobs were targeting various areas, including Barnet and the West End.
Many parts of the city spent the day cleaning up after Monday night's riots which affected several areas of London, including Croydon, Peckham, Ealing, Hackney and Enfield.
This evening it was confirmed that more than 100 police officers have been injured in London since the first riots broke out on Saturday night in Tottenham.
There were isolated reports of further unrest outside London throughout the day, following last night's violence in the centre of Birmingham. Up to 800 people went on the rampage in the centre of England's second-largest city last night.
The rioting was ostensibly triggered by the killing in Tottenham by police of local man Mark Duggan last Thursday. His death is the subject of a police investigation. Today the Independent Police Complaints Commission said there was no evidence Mark Duggan opened fire on police before being shot by them.
However, the police and politicians have claimed most of the rioting in Britain this week has nothing to do with the death of Mark Duggan and claim most of those involved are opportunistic looters. The causes of the riots will inevitably be debated and argued over in the coming days.
Earlier today it was confirmed that a man shot in Croydon last night had died in hospital. Another man in his 60s remains critically ill in hospital after battling with rioters in Ealing.
The mayhem in London also led to tomorrow night's football friendly between England and Holland to be cancelled.
David Cameron returned to Britain this morning having cut his holiday in Italy short. Following a meeting of the government's emergency planning COBRA team, the PM announced that parliament would be recalled from recess on Thursday to debate the ongoing crisis.
Speaking outside Number 10, Cameron pledged 'more robust action' to deal with the rising sense of lawlessness across Britain.
Politicians have been criticised for not taking decisive action sooner. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson was heckled as he visited parts of south London affected by last night's rioting, and a member of the Police Federation in London has criticised politicians in general for failing to give the police proper direction on what kind of response they should have made to the rioting.
Questions have been asked about the use of social and mobile networks as co-ordination tools by those behind the violence. Three people have been arrested - one in Glasgow and two in Kent - for allegedly posting inciteful status updates on Facebook. The handset manufacturer Research In Motion, who produce BlackBerry phones, has come under the spotlight after allegations that its BBM messaging service was one of the main networks used by those looting and destroying property in London.
Tonight there are reports of low-level disorder in parts of London. A car has been burnt out in Croydon and thousands of police officers are taking to the streets as people go home. The overwhelming majority of Londoners will be hoping and praying Tuesday night passes off peacefully.
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.