Police refuse to discuss street clashes with gangs

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The Independent Online
A SECOND night of violent disturbances in the Ordsall area of Salford, Greater Manchester, continued into the early hours of yesterday morning, writes Malcolm Pithers.

Police yesterday refused to discuss the violence in which gangs of masked youths attacked a security guard, set fire to a shop and threw bottles, stones and bricks at fire crews.

Up to 100 youths met on the streets for a second night in what seems to have been a deliberate attempt to attack shops and businesses. But residents said yesterday the police response to the disturbances had been heavy-handed and this had escalated the violence.

Senior police officers were yesterday not permitted to discuss street disturbances in and around Salford. The force merely issued a brief statement through its press office, saying that there had been a 'serious outbreak' of violence involving groups of youths.

The police did confirm that a security guard at a private block of flats in the area had been attacked by youths wearing masks and that he had been detained in hospital with a fractured arm.

Disturbances in the Salford area are not new, but it is the first time that fire crews, who arrived to tackle the blaze at the Carpetworld store in Regent Street, have been attacked with such severity. As police in full riot gear began to forcibly disperse people off the streets in the early hours yesterday, youths began attacking the firefighters.