Liverpool chief 'proud' of officers

A police chief said today that he was "incredibly proud" of the bravery shown by his officers after they faced a second night of "unprecedented violence" in Liverpool.

Around 200 youths gathered to the south of the city as they roamed from Toxteth to Wavertree, causing disorder and damage.

Four fire engines and a fire officer's car were taken out of service following two separate incidents in Lodge Lane and Smithdown Road when youths bombarded the vehicles with missiles. Locks on the vehicles were also damaged.

Trouble also spread to Birkenhead last night with reports of up to 100 youths wrecking vehicles in the Park Road South area.

Merseyside Police arrested 50 people for incidents of disorder and 18 of those were charged and are due to appear in court today.

The force's Chief Constable, Jon Murphy, said the mayhem was the result of the actions of a small minority whom he vowed to track down and bring to justice.

He said: "There have been almost unprecedented levels of violence shown towards my officers over the last two days. I am incredibly proud of their bravery and the way in which they have responded to incidents in very challenging circumstances.

"I and my officers remain absolutely committed to tackling any further outbreaks of disorder robustly to ensure the safety of our communities. To this end, we will continue to work closely with all our partners."

Mr Murphy said officers are now viewing CCTV from across the affected areas and more arrests are expected.

He urged anyone with images of the disorder to send them to the investigation team.

People are also asked to email any links to any captured footage to

Mr Murphy said: "My message to those involved in any criminal activity is: We will find you and we will put you before the courts to ensure justice is done."

The trouble first erupted on Monday night when cars and wheelie bins were set alight on a trail of destruction which stretched from the outskirts of the city centre to Toxteth, Dingle and Wavertree.

Last night's trouble also continued into the early hours and did not dissipate until about 3am.

In Birkenhead, there were reports of up to 100 youths wrecking vehicles in the Park Road South area before the crowd dispersed when officers attended.

At about 10.40pm windows were smashed at McDonald's in Charing Cross, Birkenhead.

Within 40 minutes, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service was called to the County pub in County Road following reports of a fire.

Two pumps attended and the blaze was extinguished.

There was no-one inside the building.

Problems flared in Park Road South at about 12.30am as vehicles were set alight.

Members of the public were advised to avoid the area, including Claughton Road and Cole Street.

Damage was also caused to shops and windows in Grange Road, including the entrance to the Pyramid shopping centre.

Merseyside Police confirmed 48 men and two women, aged between 14 and 52, were arrested during the disturbances. They are predominantly from Liverpool South and Wirral areas.

Of the 50 arrested, 27 are teenagers.

Twenty-five of the arrests were for breach of the peace, five for burglary, one drunk and disorderly, one handling stolen goods, one possession of a controlled drug, and one possession of an offensive weapon.

Four people were arrested for possession of an explosive item, five for violent disorder, two for theft, and five arrests were made for public order offences.