DISORDER and rioting spread to several cities across the country last night while Scotland Yard put London into lockdown, trebling the number of police on the streets and promising tough law enforcement, including the possible use of plastic bullets, to tackle violence.
Although London appeared to be more peaceful than the three previous nights, sporadic rioting and looting flared up in Manchester and other regions including the West Midlands.
Hundreds of masked youths swarmed through Manchester’s city centre yesterday, ransacking shops and setting fire to a Miss Selfridge store, while violence also broke out in Salford. Police have arrested 47 people so far across the two cities.
“There is no sense of injustice or any spark that has led to this,” assistant chief constable Garry Shewan of Greater Manchester said. “It is, pure and simple, acts of criminal behaviour which are the worst I have seen on this scale.”
There were also attacks in the Midlands, including Nottingham where a police station was firebombed by a gang of up to 40 men, police said. Around 80 people were arrested in the city during yesterday’s unrest.
In London many areas saw offices close early and shop-keepers board up their fronts while theatres cancelled performances.
It also emerged yesterday that Mark Duggan, whose death sparked London’s riots did not fire at police, according to an independent report.