Police prepare for the the worst as London riots continue

Police Commander Hanstock: "a lot of ill-informed and inaccurate speculation on social media sites" that could inflame the situation.

By REUTERS
August 8, 2011 10:35
1 minute read.
Rioting in northern London

Rioting in northern London. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Police in Enfield, London say groups of young people smashed windows and caused damage to three shops on Sunday night - they stole merchandise from two of them.

The attacks come on the heels of violent riots on the night before in nearby Tottenham--where least 55 people were arrested and 26 police officers were injured.

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The capital is witnessing some of the worst riots in London for years which politicians and police blamed on criminal thugs but residents attributed to local tensions and anger over hardship.

"There is Twitter conversations that people are being asked to meet again down in Tottenham, so we are all concerned but clearly we will be much better prepared this evening," Richard Barnes, London's Deputy Mayor, told BBC TV.

Police Commander Adrian Hanstock told Reuters there was "a lot of ill-informed and inaccurate speculation on social media sites" that could inflame the situation.

"Should we receive any indication that there will be any further violence or offending, there is a robust policing plan in place and we will respond appropriately with the resources available to us," he said.

The riots erupted after a street protest over the fatal shooting of a man by armed police this week. Residents said they had to flee their homes as mounted police and riot officers on foot charged the crowd to push rioters back.

As day broke, the Metropolitan Police, which will handle next year's London Olympic Games in what is expected to be Britain's biggest peacetime police operation, faced questions about how the trouble had been allowed to escalate.

The disturbance was finally brought under control on Sunday after hours of sporadic clashes. Buildings were still smoldering, bricks littered the roads and burglar alarms continued to ring out.

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