Riots Focus Turns to Manchester and Birmingham

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Last night marked the fourth day of riots in Britain, with the focus turning away from London, and towards Manchester, Birmingham and a whole host of other UK cities. Now familiar scenes played out as rioters looted shops, set fire to buildings and attacked police, leading to 479 arrests and, for the first time, three deaths.

The Spread of Violence

The long list of towns and cities affected by violence last night includes Manchester, Salford, Birmingham, Gloucester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Leicester, Bristol, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich, encompassing the South-West, Midlands and North-West of England. Whilst the biggest numbers of rioters were seen in Manchester, some of the most shocking scenes were elsewhere.

In Nottingham, a police station was set alight by a group of 30 to 40 men who firebombed it at around 10pm, though there were no injuries. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for Birmingham, where three men lost their lives after they were hit by a car. It is thought that they had been protecting their neighbourhood from the rioters, and their deaths are being treated as murder, although it is currently unclear whether the collision was directly related to the riots.

Quiet in London

In contrast to many other areas in the UK, London was relatively quiet, with the hugely increased police presence seemingly enough to deter a fourth consecutive night of riots in the Capital. A strange atmosphere enveloped the city during the late afternoon and evening, as thousands of shops and restaurants closed early and boarded up their windows. This, matched with the 16,000 police roaming the streets, created an ominous air of inevitability. However, bar one large fire in Enfield which was quickly put out, the city was noticeably calm, as the police appeared to have won back control from the mobs.

The Clean up Begins

One of the few positives that can be taken from this dark week is the response to the destruction of communities throughout the cities affected by riots. Yesterday and this morning, thousands of people gathered to help with the clean up operation. Through Twitter and Facebook, huge groups of people were formed and arranged meet ups in their local areas, where, armed with brooms, they worked through the destruction caused by the riots. They also showed their appreciation for the police who have been putting their lives at risk for the last four nights, applauding them and making them cups of tea.


Read about the start of the riots at the weekend
Read about Monday night's violent scenes in London


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