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  1. #1
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Britain Burns: Riots Spread Through UK Cities

    Britain Burns: Riots Spread Through UK Cities

    Monday, 08 Aug 2011 10:43 PM

    LONDON — Violence and looting raged across London and spread to three other major British cities on Tuesday, as authorities struggled to contain the country's most serious unrest since race riots set the capital ablaze in the 1980s.

    In London, a third straight night of disorder saw buildings, vehicles and garbage dumps set alight, stores looted and police officers pelted with bottles and fireworks, as groups of young people rampaged through neighborhoods. It was an unwelcome reminder of London's volatility for leaders organizing the 2012 Summer Olympics in less than a year.

    As authorities struggled to keep pace with unrest unfolding at flashpoints across London, the violence spread to the central city of Birmingham, the western city of Bristol and the northwestern city of Liverpool. Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer vacation in Italy and was headed home for a meeting of the national crisis committee on Tuesday morning.

    The riots appeared to have little unifying cause — though some involved in the violence claimed to be motivated by government cuts to public spending.

    The government was aiming to toughen its stance against the violence, as some communities complained that stretched police were struggling to contain the unrest with rioters plundering from stores at will, menacing shocked customers at restaurants and attempting to invade homes. Stores shut early across London, fearful of violence and looting.

    Violence first broke out late Saturday in London's northern Tottenham district when a peaceful protest over the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four who was gunned down in disputed circumstances Thursday, turned violent.

    Two police cars and a double-decker bus were set alight, stores were looted and several buildings along Tottenham's main street — five miles (eight kilometers) from the site of the 2012 Olympics — were reduced to smoldering shells.

    Duggan's death stirred old animosities and racial tensions which prompted riots in the 1980s, despite efforts by London police to build better relations with the city's ethnic communities after high-profile cases of racism in recent decades.

    As the unrest spread, some pointed to rising social tensions in Britain as the government slashes 80 billion pounds ($130 billion) from public spending by 2015 to reduce the huge deficit, swollen after the country spent billions bailing out its foundering banks.

    In south London, a massive blaze swept through a 100-year-old family run furniture store in the borough of Croydon and sent thick plumes of smoke into the air, forcing nearby homes to be evacuated. Police also confirmed they were investigating a nonfatal shooting in Croydon, but were unable to say whether the incident was linked to the chaos.

    Dozens of people attacked shops in Birmingham's main retail district, and clashed with police in Liverpool and Bristol — spreading the chaos beyond London for the first time.

    In the Hackney area of east London, hundreds of youths attacked shops and set fire to cars, leaving a trail of burning trash and shattered glass. Looters ducked into a small convenience store as the blackened shells of two cars burned nearby, filling plastic shopping bags with alcohol, cigarettes, candy and toilet paper.

    "This is the uprising of the working class. We're redistributing the wealth," said Bryn Phillips, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist, as young people emerged from the store with chocolate bars and ice cream cones.

    Phillips claimed rioters were motivated by distrust of the police, and drew a link between the rage on London's street and insurgent right-wing politics in the United States. "In America you have the tea party, in England you've got this," he said.

    Police acknowledged Tuesday that major new bouts of violence had flared in at least five locations, badly stretching their resources. Many more neighborhoods saw mobs vandalize commercial streets or break into buildings — some acting with virtual impunity, as authorities struggled to deploy officers to every scene of unrest.

    "The violence we have seen is simply inexcusable. Ordinary people have had their lives turned upside down by this mindless thuggery," police commander Christine Jones said, as she confirmed that 239 people had been arrested and 45 people charged with offenses.

    Though the unrest escalated through Sunday as disorder spread among neighboring areas, the crisis worsened Monday — with violence touching areas in the east and south of London previously untroubled by the chaos.

    "There is significant disorder breaking out in a number of our communities across London," Tim Godwin, the acting London police commissioner said Monday, acknowledging that 1,700 extra officers had been deployed across London, but were struggling to halt the unrest.

    Some residents called for police to deploy water cannons to disperse rioters, or call on the military for support.

    About 100 young people clashed early Tuesday with police in the Camden and Chalk Farm areas of north London, while others tore through a department store in the busy south London suburb of Clapham.

    The small groups of youths — most with their heads and faces covered — used SMS messages, instant messaging on BlackBerry smartphones and social media such as Twitter to coordinate their attacks and stay ahead of the police.

    Once the preserve of businesspeople, BlackBerry handsets are popular with teenagers, thanks to their free, fast instant messaging system. Blackberry's manufacturer, Research in Motion, said in a statement that it was assisting authorities in their investigation and "feel for those impacted by the riots in London."

    Police were also monitoring Twitter, and warned that those who posted messages inciting the violence could face arrest.

    In the Peckham district of south London, where a building was set ablaze along with a bus — which was not carrying passengers — onlookers said the scene resembled a conflict zone. Cars were torched in nearby Lewisham, and shops looted in south London's Clapham district.

    "There's been tension for a long time. The kids aren't happy. They hate the police," said Matthew Yeoland, a 43-year-old teacher watching the unrest in Peckham. "It's like a war zone and the police weren't doing anything. There were too many people and not enough police."

    Police said Duggan was shot dead last week when police from Operation Trident — the unit that investigates gun crime in the black community — stopped a cab he was riding in.

    The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the shooting, said a "non-police firearm" was recovered at the scene, and media reports said a bullet had been found in an officer's radio. However, the Guardian newspaper reported that the bullet in the radio was police-issue, indicating Duggan may not have fired at the officer.

    Duggan's partner, Semone Wilson, insisted Monday that her fiance was not connected to gang violence and urged police to offer more information about his death. But she said the riots appeared to be no longer linked to the initial protests. "It got out of hand. It's not connected to this any more. This is out of control," she said.

    Many Tottenham residents claimed that the looting was the work of greedy youths — rather than fueled by anti-police sentiments.

    "It's nothing to do with the man who was shot, is it?" said 37-year-old Marcia Simmons, who has lived in the diverse and gritty north London neighborhood all her life. "A lot of youths ... heard there was a protest and joined in. Others used it as an opportunity to kit themselves out, didn't they, with shoes and T-shirts and everything."

    The past year has seen mass protests against the tripling of student tuition fees and cuts to public sector pensions. In November, December and March, small groups broke away from large marches in London to loot. In the most notorious episode, rioters attacked a Rolls-Royce carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to a charity concert.

    However, the full impact of spending cuts has yet to be felt and the unemployment rate is stable — although it remains highest among youth, especially in areas like Tottenham, Hackney and Croydon.

    Some residents insisted that joblessness was not to blame. "It's just an excuse for the young ones to come and rob shops," said Brixton resident Marilyn Moseley, 49.

    Godwin urged communities to help clear the streets of people, and called on families to contact their children and ensure that they were not involved in the chaos. An 11-year-old boy was charged with burglary by police, and at least 100 of those arrested were aged 21 or younger. About 35 police officers had been injured in the violence, police said.

    Home Secretary Theresa May, the Cabinet minister responsible for policing, and London Mayor Boris Johnson also cut short summer vacations in an attempt to deal with the crisis.

    Police in the city of Birmingham, 120 miles (195 kilometers) north of London, confirmed that officers had arrested 35 people amid disorder across the city center, where shops were being vandalized. In Bristol, police urged residents to avoid the city center after 150 rioters went on the rampage.

    In the south London neighborhood of Brixton — the scene of riots in the 1980s and 1990s — youths smashed windows, attacked a police car, set fire to garbage bins and stole video games, sportswear and other goods from stores on Sunday night.

    Like Brixton, Tottenham is an impoverished area with an ethnically diverse population, a large black community and a history of unrest.

    Tottenham was the site of the 1985 Broadwater Farm riots, a series of clashes that led to the fatal stabbing of a police officer and the wounding of nearly 60 others — and underscored tensions between London police and the capital's black community.

    West Ham, a football team in east London, confirmed it had canceled a match planned for Tuesday and said police had asked for "all major public events" to be postponed. However, the national Football Association insisted that a scheduled international friendly match between England and the Netherlands would go ahead at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

    The International Olympic Committee said it had confidence in British authorities. "Security at the Olympic Games is a top priority for the IOC," spokesman Mark Adams said. ... /id/406581
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  2. #2
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    New Home Office foreign criminals scandal

    The Home Office was plunged into crisis last night after it wrongly allowed violent foreign prisoners to be freed into the community.

    Last night MPs called for Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to 'do the right thing' and admit the full scale of the problem Photo: PABy David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent

    9:30PM BST 06 Aug 2011

    At least eight foreigners convicted of violent or sexual offences were released automatically at the end of their jail terms instead of being considered for deportation.

    They are thought to include at least one killer. An unknown number of less-serious foreign criminals such as thieves and drug dealers have also been wrongly freed.

    The catastrophic errors are a repeat of the scandal five years ago which led to the then-home secretary being sacked and the department declared "unfit for purpose".

    Last night MPs called for Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to "do the right thing" and admit the full scale of the problem.

    It was unclear whether the eight have gone on to commit more crimes. Remarkably, two of them have since been granted permission to extend their stay in Britain - one of them on "human rights" grounds.

    Under rules introduced following the last scandal in 2006, any foreign national who is convicted of a serious crime, or is sentenced to more than 12 months in prison, must be considered for deportation on release.

    As each one nears the end of their sentence, prison chiefs are meant to alert the UK Border Agency's Criminal Casework Directorate, which decides whether deportation is appropriate. If the decision is taken to deport, the convict is not freed at the end of the sentence but is instead transferred to an immigration detention centre to await removal.

    The Home Office admitted last night that the system had failed, saying that five foreign prisoners had been freed into the community without being considered for deportation since 2006. A spokesman denied knowledge of further breaches, saying: "We do not have that information."

    However, The Sunday Telegraph has seen evidence that senior officials are aware of at least three more serious offenders having been freed since early in 2010, bringing the total to eight.

    The spokesman insisted that officials had not lost contact with the initial five wrongly-freed convicts, and at least one has since been deported. However, it remains unclear whether others have disappeared.

    One has since won the right to stay in Britain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which gives the "right to family life". Another has won "indefinite leave to remain".

    The Home Office, which oversees the UK Border Agency, blamed the crisis on the Ministry of Justice, which is responsible for prisons.

    "There were issues in the Prisons Service and not the UKBA," said a Home Office spokesman.

    No-one at the Ministry of Justice was available to comment last night.

    David Davis MP, the former Conservative shadow home secretary, said: "Clearly this is a very serious matter. But in addition to the original sin, it is a disgrace the Home Office is not willing to release figures on something which is of such public importance.

    "They must tell the public exactly what they have done to bring these dangerous criminals under control and be fully open about the extent of this problem.

    "I would say to Theresa May that the right thing to do is to tell the public what has happened, and what has been done to protect them, and not to try to cover this up in any way."

    The scandal mirrors that which led to Charles Clarke being sacked as home secretary by Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister.

    In April 2006 Mr Clarke admitted more than 1,000 foreign criminals had been released without being considered for deportation.

    It later emerged that the National Audit Office had warned the department of the problem 10 months earlier, and in the intervening period nearly 300 offenders had been freed.

    Some of the offenders mistakenly freed had gone on to commit further crimes, including murder, and others were never traced.

    In the wake of the scandal, Mr Clarke was replaced in a Cabinet reshuffle by John Reid, who immediately declared that the Home Office was "not fit for purpose".

    The rules were tightened in an attempt to ensure that foreigners convicted of serious crimes would always be considered for deportation before their release.

    In a further reform, the Home Office was broken up, with responsibilities for prisons and other major areas handed to the newly-created Ministry of Justice.

    Among the original 1,013 offenders in the 2006 scandal, 43 fell into the "most serious" category, including killers, rapists and paedophiles, and 145 into the "more serious" group made up of other violent and sex offenders.

    The remaining cases were mainly thieves and other non-violent criminals, including those convicted of drug offences.

    All eight of the new cases so far uncovered fall into the "most serious" or "more serious" groups, suggesting that a far larger number have also been freed from the lower group.

    David Wood, of the UK Border Agency, said: "We have made considerable improvements to the way we deport foreign national prisoners.

    "We receive around 500 referrals per month and work closely with other agencies to ensure we deal with all foreign national prisoners, including cases where the offender will be released on sentencing directly from court, those serving short sentences and remand prisoners.

    "In 2010 we removed or deported 5,235 foreign national prisoners from the UK.

    "We are constantly working to improve these practices and in July 2010 secured access to the Crown Courts database so we can access information about sentencing more quickly." ... andal.html
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  3. #3
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Did bullet fired at officer belong to police? Father-of-four may not have been using gun before he was shot dead by officers Bullet lodged in officer's radio was 'police issue ammunition'

    Casts doubt on claims of a shoot out with police before death

    Duggan was a 'crack dealer' linked to string of feared gangs

    By Rebecca Camber
    Last updated at 2:22 PM on 8th August 2011
    Comments 243

    The bullet which lodged in a police officer’s radio in the gunfight which led to Mark Duggan being shot dead was police issue ammunition, it was reported last night.

    The revelation will fuel the fury in Tottenham about the killing of the father of four by armed officers.

    The bullet which was found lodged in the radio of one of the officers at the scene is still undergoing forensic tests. It was initially suggested by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) that Met officers returned fire after someone in the minicab opened fire.

    But sources have said the first ballistics examinations suggested it was police issue.

    Shot dead: The death of father-of-four Mark Duggan sparked the initial riots in Tottenham and rumours spreading 'like wildfire' on the internet are thought to have fuelled further unrest in other parts of the capital

    What a waste: An historic department store that survived the blitz is ravaged by flames during the riots as firefighters can only look on and watch

    These are very distinct as the Metropolitan Police uses hollowed-out bullets designed not to pass through an object.

    The news has undermined suggestions that there was an exchange of fire between Mr Duggan and the police before he died.

    Yesterday the IPCC was forced to deny reports that Mr Duggan was ‘assassinated’ as rumours spread like wildfire on the internet that he was unarmed, having put his gun down on the ground when he was shot.

    Mr Duggan’s brother’s Shaun Hall said he would never have shot at police, saying it was ‘utter rubbish’.

    ‘My brother’s not that sort of person,’ he said. ‘He’s not stupid to shoot at the police, that’s ridiculous.’

    Mr Hall said he did not condone the rioting. ‘I know people are frustrated, they’re angry out there at the moment, but I would say please try and hold it down. Please don’t make this about my brother’s life, he was a good man.

    ‘We’re all devastated about the mishap, we don’t actually know what has actually happened.

    ‘Nobody’s actually come forward and told us, “This is what has taken place
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  4. #4
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Doubts emerge over Duggan shooting as London burns

    Initial ballistics tests suggest bullet lodged in officer's radio during incident in Tottenham was police issue

    Sandra Laville, Paul Lewis, Vikram Dodd and Caroline Davies The Guardian, Monday 8 August 2011

    The Carpetright shop on Tottenham High Road, north London, in the early hours of of Sunday morning. The 1930s building was gutted by the blaze. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA

    Doubts have emerged over whether Mark Duggan, whose death at the hands of police sparked the weekend's Tottenham riots, was killed during an exchange of fire .

    The Guardian understands that initial ballistics tests on a bullet, found lodged in a police radio worn by an officer during Thursday's incident, suggested it was police issue – and therefore had not been fired by Duggan.

    On Saturday night 26 police officers were injured, eight requiring hospital treatment, in clashes with around 300 rioters in Tottenham that saw buildings and vehicles torched, shops looted and residents forced to flee their homes.

    Police have arrested 55 people as a major investigation began into the escalation of violence, which followed a peaceful demonstration to demand "justice" for Duggan, 29, a father of four shot dead on Thursday evening after being stopped in a taxi near Tottenham Hale. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an inquiry into the shooting.

    Initial reports from the IPCC were that during an apparent exchange of fire police officers from C019 fired two shots and Duggan died at the scene. The suggestion was that officers could have come under fire from a minicab carrying Duggan. Much of this assumption came from the fact that a bullet had lodged in a police radio worn by an officer at the scene – raising speculation he might have been fired at from the vehicle. A non-police issue handgun was also recovered at the scene where Duggan was shot dead in Ferry Road.

    The latest developments come as one community organiser suggested the handgun recovered was found in a sock and therefore not ready for use. It is likely to fuel anger on the streets of Tottenham and elsewhere in London if it provides evidence that officers were not under attack at the time they opened fire on Duggan.

    The IPCC said on Sunday: "We await further forensic analysis to enable us to have a fuller and more comprehensive account of what shots were discharged, the sequence of events and what exactly happened. In the meantime we would request people are patient while we seek to find answers to the questions raised by this incident."

    Gutted buildings were still smouldering in Tottenham on Sunday evening. Firefighters dealt with 49 primary fires receiving 264 999 calls between 9.30pm on Saturday and 4.30am on Sunday.

    Two police cars and a double-decker bus were set alight. Three people required hospital treatment.

    In the chaos, brazen looting took place. Shop fronts were smashed in Tottenham Hale retail park as looters loaded car boots and trolleys with electrical goods, mobile phones, shoes and clo thing. Looting spread to Wood Green, where it continued until at least 5.30am.

    Community leaders said they warned Tottenham police immediately before Saturday's rioting that a peaceful protest over the fatal shooting could get out of control. More than 100 people who demanded to see a senior officer at Tottenham police station feared that if they were still there by nightfall it could cause problems in an area with tensions running high.

    Stafford Scott, a community organiser who accompanied the family of the shot man, said: "If a senior police officer had come to speak to us, we would have left. We arrived at 5pm, we had planned a one-hour silent protest. We were there until 9pm. Police were absolutely culpable. Had they been more responsive when we arrived at the police station, asking for a senior officer to talk with the family, we would have left the vicinity before the unrest started.

    "It is unforgivable police refused dialogue. We know the history here – how can Tottenham have a guy killed by police on Thursday, and resist requests for dialogue from the community 48 hours later?"

    There were also claims police were warned on Thursday night and Friday morning by people with knowledge of Tottenham there could be "significant" community reaction to Duggan's death.

    Duggan's fiancee, Semone Wilson, 29, said the family had not wanted trouble, only answers. "When we were outside the police station last night we wanted someone to come out. We want some answers. I have not even told my children that he is dead because we cannot give them any answers." Of the violence, Wilson said: "I am not happy about what has happened. We didn't want this trouble. We wanted some answers."

    Shaun Hall, Duggan's older brother, said the family was "not condoning any kind of actions like that at all, or for this [action] to be taken in my brother's name". He appealed to people in the community who were frustrated and angry to "try and hold it down".

    Members of Duggan's family had been part of the peaceful demonstration to the police station in Totttenham on Saturday.

    On Sunday night thousands of police officers were drafted in from Thames Valley, Kent, Surrey, Essex, and City of London, ahead of the fresh outbreak of violence. Tottenham MP David Lammy said the community "had the heart ripped out of it" by "mindless, mindless people", many of whom had come from outside Tottenham. He added: "There are questions about the nature of the escalation of this violence last night, and the nature of the policing that led up to it."

    Downing Street called the rioting "utterly unacceptable". Home secretary Theresa May said: "Such disregard for public safety and property will not be tolerated."

    Forensic examiners were slowly and painstakingly working their way through the crime scene as part of the police investigation codenamed Operation Withern. Officers from the homicide and serious crime command, and specialist investigators from the public order branch were reviewing CCTV footage and taking witness statements.

    A series of crisis meetings was held at Scotland Yard as acting commissioner Tim Godwin and other senior officers assessed the damage, and how the force had been "taken by surprise" over the swiftness and scale of its loss of control of the streets.

    Metropolitan police commander Adrian Hanstock said they had "not anticipated" Saturday's level of violence. "Last night's peaceful demonstration was hijacked by a small number of criminal elements, who used that for their own gain. Duggan's death was "extremely regrettable" and subject to an IPCC inquiry, he said.

    Asked if police were undermanned, he said: "We kept a very dignified presence at the vigil [by Duggan's family]; there was no indication that there would be anything other than a peaceful demonstration. The level of violence escalated absolutely disproportionately".

    IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne met Duggan's relatives on Sunday. She said: "Speculation that Mark Duggan was 'assassinated' in an execution style involving a number of shots to the head are categorically untrue. Following the formal identification of the body Mr Duggan's family know that this is not the case and I would ask anyone reporting this to be aware of its inaccuracy and its inflammatory nature."

    She went on to appeal for calm and added: "The distress that Mr Duggan's family are in the midst of is understandable but the violence and disorder we have witnessed over the last 24 hours can never be acceptable."

    Residents, driven from their burning homes, had lost everything. Stuart Radose had to flee his flat above a Carpetright shop in Tottenham High Road as fire ravaged the building. "We've gone back this morning and it's a complete shell," he told Sky News. "Everything we had is gone. It's just mad. So many people have lost everything. It's just crazy. It looks like it's the second world war. It looks like the Blitz where we were living."

    He said he had watched from his balcony as "things were getting worse and worse". "There didn't seem to be a police presence at all," he added. "Buildings seemed to be allowed to burn. I guess they couldn't get there.

    "I think we've probably spent our last night in Tottenham. We're just in shock."


    4 August, 6.15pm Police shoot dead a 29-year-old man in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, who had been travelling in a minicab. He is named as Mark Duggan, a father of four. Officers stopped the cab to carry out an arrest as part of a planned operation, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    6 August, 5.30pm About 120 people march peacefully from Broadwater Farm to Tottenham police station, demanding "justice" for Duggan's family. The high road is closed and traffic diverted.

    6 August, 8.20pm Two police cars parked about 200 yards from the police station are set alight. Riots break out in which windows are smashed, a petrol bomb thrown, and buildings set on fire. A double decker bus is also set alight. Police try to break up the crowd but bottles and other missiles are thrown at them.

    7 August, 3am A group of teenagers and adults loot almost all the stores in Tottenham Hale retail park half a mile away. Shop windows and doors are smashed in and the shops were raided. Police say one officer has been taken to hospital and seven others injured. Seven more officers were later taken to hospital. A total of 26 officers are injured during the unrest and 42 people are arrested for offences including violent disorder, burglary and theft.

    7 August, 11.15am Local MP David Lammy, speaking from behind the police tape on the High Road, calls for calm. Crowds gather at the police cordon, some still angry with the police, others with the rioters.

    7 August, 12.30pm Metropolitan Police commander Adrian Hanstock condemns the riots as "absolutely unacceptable". He says a peaceful demonstration has been hijacked by a small number of "criminal elements" using it for their own gain. ... ndon-burns
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