- UK Police Arrest Over 160 in Weekend London Riots (AP, August 8, 2011):
British police on Monday promised a “momentous operation” to arrest rioters after a weekend of vandalism and looting that erupted in a disadvantaged London neighborhood just miles (kilometers) from the site of next year’s Olympic Games.
Groups of masked and hooded young people looted shops, attacked police officers and set fire to vehicles in violence that has raised questions about security ahead of the 2012 Olympics and revealed pent-up anger against the city’s police. Over 160 people were arrested.
Around 35 police officers were injured, including three hit by a car while trying to make arrests in northeast London. Police commander Christine Jones said officers were “shocked at the outrageous level of violence directed against them.”
“This has changed from a local issue into organized criminality,” police deputy assistant commissioner Steve Kavanagh said Monday as he announced a “momentous investigation” to track down the perpetrators.
“We will make sure that this criminality is not allowed to continue,” Kavanagh told Sky News.
The violence broke out in the gritty north London suburb of Tottenham on Saturday night amid community anger over a fatal police shooting of a 29-year-old father of four. Police said “copycat criminal” violence spread to other parts of the city Sunday night and early Monday, including, briefly, London’s busy shopping and tourist district at Oxford Circus.
- London riots spread south of Thames (Guardian, August 8, 2011):
Violence, vandalism and looting spread beyond Tottenham and Enfield to reach Brixton, leaving 35 police injured
There has been a second night of rioting across London, with violence erupting in several of the capital’s boroughs, from Brixton in the south to Enfield and Islington in the north and Walthamstow to the east.
What police are calling “copycat criminal activity” – some of it apparently part of an orchestrated plan – has so far resulted in 100 arrests.
Sunday night’s rioting followed disturbances on Saturday night in Tottenham, which came after the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan, 29, on Thursday.
In a statement on Monday morning, the Metropolitan police said they were shocked at the levels of “disgraceful violence” that had left 35 officers injured.