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Monday
Aug082011

Britain Update: The Unrest in London Tonight (BBC)

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The BBC offers latest news (1930 GMT):

Riot police have again been deployed to the streets of London as violence broke out for a third day running.

Cars were set on fire in Lewisham and a bus and shop were set ablaze in Peckham.

In Hackney, police have sealed off part of Mare Street after youths smashed police car windows.

The trouble flared after a man was stopped in Hackney and searched by police but nothing was found.

There were also fears trouble may spread further afield as police in riot gear were deployed in Birmingham city centre after scores of youths rampaged through the shopping area, smashing windows.

The fresh violence prompted Acting Scotland Yard Commissioner Tim Godwin to called on parents to contact their children and urged the public to clear London's streets.

Up to 200 police officers in riot gear are in the Hackney area and are clashing with youths, who have tried to set fire to vehicles.

Groups of people began attacking the police in Hackney at about 16:20 BST, throwing rocks and a bin at officers.

Police cars were also smashed by youths armed with wooden poles and metal bars.

Looters also smashed their way into shops, including a JD Sports store, before being dispersed by police.

Planks of wood taken from a lorry were then hurled towards lines of riot officers.

Violence has broken out in Peckham, south London, where a shop and a bus have been set on fire.

In nearby Lewisham, a number of vehicles and a trail of bins on fire.

At least 215 people have been arrested and 25 charged following the riots across London over the last two days.

In Birmingham City Centre looters have attacked several shops, smashing windows and stealing items.

An eyewitness said windows have been smashed in McDonalds and Jessops near Birmingham Cathedral and a sign has been thrown through a gym window.

London's mayor Boris Johnson is cutting short his holiday to return to the city.

Home Secretary Theresa May also returned early from holiday, to meet Metropolitan Police (Met) chiefs to discuss their response to the violence.

Mrs May condemned the riots as "sheer criminality" and said those responsible would "face the consequences of their actions".

The trouble follows two nights of violence over the weekend which started after police shot a man dead in Tottenham.

Mrs May said: "The riots in Tottenham on Saturday night and the subsequent disturbances in other parts of London are totally unacceptable."

A peaceful protest in Tottenham on Saturday over the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan, 29, was followed by violence which spread into Sunday.

A candlelit vigil was due to be held at The High Cross in Tottenham on Monday evening.

Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said there were "significant resources" on the streets, with a third more officers on duty than on Sunday.

He said: "What we can see is that the Metropolitan Police are getting police officers there in numbers.

"When we have large numbers of criminals intent on that type of violence, we can only do that, get lots of officers there quickly and try to protect local businesses and local people."

He also admitted relations with the family of the man shot dead by police could have been handled better.

Mr Kavanagh said: "I want to apologise to the Duggan family because I think both the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) and the Metropolitan Police could have managed that family's needs more effectively."

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