2011-08-09 #UKRiots spread and intensify, one person dead and one seriously injured

Image After three days and nights, on Monday night the main riots in London have spread from the suburbs into the areas of Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham and even Liverpool. In South London a man has been found dead from gunshot wounds in his car. The police have released no more details and have yet to find suspects. At the same time crowds of around a hundred rioters have gathered in the evening to vandalise the streets, loot stores and burn anything from buildings to police cars.

In Birmingham there have been 133 arrests overnight after repeated looting and a police station being set on fire, 28 people were injured.

In Liverpool there has been reports of shops and bars being attacked with people inside them, windows have been smashed and severe looting has taken place. Police have been attacked by gangs carrying flammable missiles. Here is a map of all confirmed incidents of violence.

Of the many London suburbs under attack, Croydon (South London) has had the worst as the community woke up to buildings on fire and closed roads. Helicopter images of the fires are truly astounding.

Probably the worst registered fire was in a Sony Warehouse in North London. Sony has confirmed that there were no victims. On Monday night the London fire brigade received 15 times more calls than average.

The police have confirmed that over 450 arrests have been made, making detention cells so full that they have been forced to transport the prisoners to surrounding facilities. Forty four policemen have been injured after trying to contain gangs from their criminal activities, the video below shows the kind of aggression they have suffered nationwide:

The wild U.K. streets have left images such as the ones below, in which an injured boy is helped to his feet and then robbed by the mob.

People nationwide have decided to close up businesses early and board up their homes, protecting themselves as best they can.

Official Reaction

Government condemnation of the events has been unanimous. In an attempt to regain control of the country Prime Minister David Cameron has returned from his vacations in Italy early calling for all members Parliament to a special meeting on Thursday. He has already, along with police forces and mayor Boris Johnson, adopted a tough stance on the rioters. Upon his arrival in London he stated that "people should expect to see more, many more, arrests in the days to come, if you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishments."

He also stated that “compared with the 6,000 police on the streets last night in London, there will be some 16,000 officers tonight”, in prevision of Tuesday night’s looting and destruction. They have pondered the use of rubber bullets on the mainland for the first time, however, they are frightful of the violent mob’s possible reaction.

The Metropolitan Police has also released what it said would be "the first of many" CCTV images of suspected looters Tuesday morning, focusing on incidents in London's Lambeth borough and Croydon. They have released this webpage, urging citizens to cooperate in identifying potential criminals. They have also created the hashtag #tweetalooter encouraging civilians to send in pictures and videos from criminal activitie.

Citizen's Response

As a response to the appalling looting and destruction of the city various citizen-led initiatives have popped up over the Internet. In Facebook a group advocating for a post-riot clean up has received massive popular support after calling for Londoners who love their city to form a civil rebuilding task-force.

Their job started with collecting broken glass and wiping graffiti off walls, the larger damage will be harder to rebuild as many stores have been completely destroyed. The hashtag #riotcleanup is becoming more and more popular along the day, as communities are demonstrating their compromise against the situation. This Tumblr blog has been created to as an unofficial watchdog. With the same idea in mind, citizen journalism site www.blottr.com has also called for citizens to help identify looters.

Latest news on Tuesday’s riots

The clashes have intensified in certain areas, after local groups men have organized to protect their community as vigilantes. A man from Ealing, West London, was seriously injured after trying to put out a fire rioters had started. His condition is reported to be grave but is still unknown. Below is a picture of the police helping him.

Riots and widespread violence has been confirmed in Manchester, Wolverhampton and Salford. They looted and burned various stores and confronted the police. Police reported that their HQ in Northampton were firebombed by a group of radical youths.

In the West Midlands, still greater Manchester, 109 people were arrested according to the local police department. As warned business nationwide were forced to close earlier than usual.

A man in West London who went to the streets to protect his neighborhood from rioters was seriously injured.

BBC reported that two men injured when they were hit by a car in Birmingham have died and a third is in a critical condition.

Mark Duggan

On August 4th, London’s Independent Police Complaints Commission reported a shooting in Tottenham Yale in which a man was killed and a policeman injured. This man was a 29 years-old head of a family in the area of Ferry Lane, suburbs of London. After his death, Mark was announced as an alleged drug dealer and gangster locally. On that day, IPCC said it understood the dead man had been shot by police and in the same event an officer had been shot and wounded. "It is understood that the shooting followed a [Metropolitan police service] operation. (..)"The IPCC can confirm that a firearm has been recovered from the scene. (...)” announced IPCC on last Thursday. Today, the same police commission announced there is no evidence that Mark shot police.