Riots spread north as London cools

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Rioting and looting spread to Manchester and the Midlands from London tonight with plans to prevent a fourth night of violence on the streets of the capital appearing to have worked.

Prime Minister David Cameron flew back from his holiday early to join police chiefs in warning rioters they would face the full weight of the law.



He chaired a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee today, with another due to take place at 9am tomorrow.



Businesses and shops across the capital shut down early in a bid to avoid attack from the gangs of youths who have ransacked buildings across the city over the previous days.



Many firms also sent staff home amid fears that rioters could attack again.



The Metropolitan Police flooded the streets with officers tonight - nearly three times as many as were on duty last night - to quash concerns they were losing control of parts of London.



Some 30 other forces lent officers to bolster the numbers for a massive policing operation intended to put a stop to the horrific scenes witnessed across the country since Saturday.



Scotland Yard ruled out involving the Army for now but said police were "not scared" of using plastic bullets to bring the unprecedented riots under control.



Tonight, the situation appeared relatively calm in London, with a handful of arrests reported in the Canning Town area.



In Manchester however, rioters set fire to a branch of fashion store Miss Selfridge in the city centre. Hundreds of youths rampaged on the streets, leading to running battles with riot police.



Greater Manchester Police said it was engaged in outbreaks of disorder in both Manchester city centre and Salford. Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney vowed: "We will not allow such mindless criminal damage and wanton violence to go unpunished."



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



Sporadic looting broke out across the city centre, with gangs playing cat-and-mouse with riot police. Officers in vans chased large groups of youths wearing ski masks and hoods as they rampaged through the city streets.



Elsewhere in England, West Midlands Police said they were dealing with sporadic disorder in Wolverhampton and the arson of two vehicles in nearby West Bromwich.



Parliament will be recalled for a day on Thursday to discuss the developments.



Mr Cameron has pledged to speed up court procedures to deal with the "many more" arrests expected as police scour hundreds of hours of CCTV for evidence about those responsible for the violence.



He warned the young people involved in the riots: "You will feel the full force of the law. And if you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishment."



The violence first erupted in Tottenham, north London, on Saturday night after a peaceful protest over the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, last Thursday.



The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed today that there was no evidence that Mr Duggan fired at officers before he was shot in the chest.



Mr Duggan's family said today they were "deeply distressed" by the disorder across the country which has followed his death.



Hundreds of people were arrested overnight after the worst rioting in decades as looting, violence and arson spread across London and to other major cities, including Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.



A 26-year-old man who was shot in a car during riots in Croydon, south London, has died in hospital.



Three people were held on suspicion of the attempted murder of a police officer who was injured by a car while trying to stop looters in Brent, north-west London.



A total of 111 Met officers and five police dogs have been injured in the violence after being attacked with bricks, glass bottles and planks of wood.



So far Scotland Yard has made 563 arrests over the three nights of rioting and charged 105 people with offences ranging from burglary to possessing offensive weapons.



The force has launched a dedicated webpage to show images of people wanted over the disturbances at www.met.police.uk/disordersuspects/.



The riots have led to a series of domestic football matches being called off, including Carling Cup ties at West Ham, Charlton, Crystal Palace and Bristol City.



In an exceptional move, the Football Association announced that England's friendly against Holland at Wembley Stadium tomorrow had also been called off.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935