UK cleans up after overnight rioting

London and surrounding areas wake up to smoldering buildings; neighborhoods now face massive clean-up of smashed glass as police try to reclaim the streets.

UK cleans up after rioting (photo credit: REUTERS)
UK cleans up after rioting
(photo credit: REUTERS)
London and surrounding areas woke up on Tuesday to smoldering buildings after another night of violent riots. The neighborhoods faced a massive clean-up of smashed glass, bricks, bottles and gutted buildings as police reinforcements reclaimed the streets from the youths.
Politicians and police blamed the riots - the worst in Britain for decades - on criminals and opportunistic hooligans.
But residents in affected areas and some commentators attributed the unrest to local tensions and anger over economic hardship in a city where the gap between the haves and have-nots is growing.
The riots broke out amid deepening gloom in Britain, with the economy struggling to grow while the government is imposing deep public spending cuts and tax rises brought in to help eliminate a budget deficit that peaked at more than 10 percent of GDP.
They will also show an ugly side of London to the rest of the world less than a year before it hosts the 2012 Olympic Games, an event which organizers hope will showcase a dynamic, prosperous and cosmopolitan city.