Rioting develops throughout England

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A fireman puts out a fire in Tottenham caused by rioters.
Image: Christophe Maximin.

Rioting, theft, vandalism and other acts of violence are currently occurring in various cities throughout England. There is a substantial rioting problem, primarily in the capital of London, which has spread to the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Nottingham.

David Cameron, the current UK Prime Minister, condemned the violent acts, referring to them as "sickening", proclaiming that those involving themselves the incident "will feel the full force of the law". At least 563 individuals have been arrested in relation to these incidents. He also reported that Parliament is to be recalled this Thursday. The number of police officers in London tonight is to be increased from six thousand to sixteen thousand, the Prime Minister said, with any pre-arranged leave being abandoned.

The riots were sparked by the fatal shooting by police of 29-year-old Mark Duggan on Thursday in Tottenham, during the planned arrest of Duggan as part of anti-gun unit Operation Trident. Reports from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) claimed that Duggan had been shot in retaliation, however the IPCC later admitted there is no evidence that Duggan shot at the police. On Sunday, a peaceful protest in Tottenham held by Duggan's family and friends sparked a series of disturbances in the area, which quickly became a violent riot, with youths from the area looting and clashing with Police.

For three consecutive days, London has experienced what the Metropolitan Police have referred to as "copycat criminal activity". Hundreds of arrests have now occurred, with 105 individuals having been charged for a variety of crimes. The Metropolitan Police are now contemplating the concept of using plastic bullets as a disciplinary method within the riots. As of yet, English police have never used such a weapon in this context.