British PM to hold crisis talks on riots

2011-08-09 08:41

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron was to hold crisis talks on Tuesday after three nights of riots, looting and arson by masked, hooded youths that wrecked shopping centres in many parts of London and spread to three other cities.

Neighbourhoods across the capital faced a massive clean-up of smashed glass, bricks, bottles and gutted buildings as police reinforcements reclaimed the streets from the youths who had co-ordinated the looting via mobile phones and social media.

The rioting - the worst in Britain for decades - spread to districts across London, and what police called copycat violence broke out in Bristol in the southwest, Birmingham in the Midlands and the northwest port of Liverpool.

Late on Monday, as the violence died down, cars piled high with goods drove at high speed through London streets. Witnesses were told of numerous cases of car theft by groups of looters.

In the poor eastern district of Woolwich, passersby felt the crunch of broken glass underfoot and saw shattered shop fronts and streets strewn with stolen goods, tailors' dummies and other debris.

Police said they had arrested 334 people in London and about 100 in Birmingham.

Holiday cut short

At one point, the London fire brigade said it was running out of vehicles to tackle fires started by the rioters and police said they had called in 1 700 reinforcements to help London police cope with fast-moving groups of looters.

Cameron broke off his holiday in Italy on Monday to fly home. He was due to chair a meeting of Cobra, the government's crisis committee to work out a strategy to prevent more violence and consider why the riots broke out and spread so fast, taking the authorities by surprise.

Some commentators have blamed the rioting partly on cuts in social services being imposed as a result of the government's tough austerity policies to reduce a large budget deficit. Economic growth is sluggish.

Many looters were from areas of high unemployment and said they felt alienated from society.

"We ain't got no jobs, no money ... We heard that other people were getting things for free, so why not us?" asked E Nan, a young man in a baseball cap surrounded by other youths in Hackney, a multi-ethnic area in east London and one of the worst affected areas.

Hooded youths in Hackney pushed burning rubbish bins down a street towards police on Monday, laughing as they ran back when police charged them. Others smashed their way into a shop and ran off clutching bottles of whisky and beer.

Only just begun

Reuters witnesses saw similar scenes in Woolwich, Clapham in the south and Ealing in the west. In Ealing, one resident told Reuters about 150 hooded youths had walked down his road smashing car windows in a display of "mindless vandalism".

"It's very sad to see ... But kids have got no work, no future and the cuts have made it worse. These kids are from another generation to us and they just don't care," said Hackney electrician Anthony Burns, aged 39.

"You watch. It's only just begun."

Government officials branded the rioters criminals and said the violence would have no effect on preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games - though television images of blazing buildings and rioting were likely to dent the capital's image.

"It was needless, opportunistic theft and violence, nothing more, nothing less. It is completely unacceptable," said Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Cameron has resisted calls to slow the rate at which he is cutting the budget deficit in order to lessen the impact on youth services and other facilities. He was likely to come under new pressure to do more for poor districts of the capital.

The first riots broke out on Saturday in London's northern Tottenham district, when a peaceful protest over the police shooting of a suspect two days earlier was followed by outbreaks of looting.

Further disturbances followed on Sunday, and on Monday, emboldened by the inability of the police to concentrate their forces in every trouble spot, looting spread rapidly.

  • squeegeepilot - 2011-08-09 08:55

    Intern the lot. Give them hard labour.

      Lee - 2011-08-09 09:08

      It is just the begining, sugar coat it all you like. Moaning you have no jobs, well you'll not get on now after burning down everybody elses business and making more unemployed. Never mind the bill to repair....More of the same tonight in other cities. Watch. UK Ex Pat.

      Jarryd - 2011-08-09 09:30

      (1)Where are there parents of these thugs? (2)And those shop-owners need to start getting together and protecting their stuff, waiting for the police to solve their problems isn't going to happen. (3)UK police, take a page out of SA police book: rubber bullets...lots of of them. Walking up and down in lines chasing this mobile mob through the cities ain't doing sqwat.

      p123 - 2011-08-09 09:55

      Been watching on Sky, can't believe the Cops, such a bunch of wimps, never seen such ineffective, usless policing in my life, and we thought our police were useless! They just stand around watching, one yob intimidating like 20 cops, absolutely no balls whatsoever.

      10111 - 2011-08-09 10:07

      @Timmy except that the arabs fought for freedom these guys fight for 46" HD Plasma TVs.

      jester - 2011-08-09 10:41

      P123, the problem is that if the cops do defend themselves then weeks later they get fired and sued for it! No wonder they don't want to act. Its not right, this whole mess is just so disgraceful.

      charlesaduplessis - 2011-08-09 10:47

      @Jester.. then why have cops in the first place .. lmao.. no wonder every African wants to move to the UK hahaha .. you can riot, steal (And this is all it is about, self enrichment)burn things and not even get as much as a KLAP hahaahahaha

      G.du Plessis - 2011-08-09 11:56

      Riots happening in many black and Asian areas but now also Bromley where my bro lives which is very white as an area. These are poor disaffected youth criminals - I wonder what the motive is, as race isn't this time - it is different to Brixton 1981

  • Juggernaut - 2011-08-09 08:57

    "It was needless, opportunistic theft and violence, nothing more, nothing less. It is completely unacceptable," Nuff said. Shoot the f&^%^&ks next time. Violence cannot be left unpunished as it begets further violence.

      Bill - 2011-08-09 10:09

      Right on...!

  • Nongoloza - 2011-08-09 09:00

    Tottenham has the highest population of african carribean in Europe, as well as the highest unemployment in the UK. Why am i not surprised there are riots, im all for peaceful protest but there is no need for violence and destrcution, and it is black people who are guilty again.

      squeegeepilot - 2011-08-09 09:04

      Nong... living off the State is a way of life in Britain. If you honestly think these people are all out looking for employment you need your head read. This is about two things: 1. Cutbacks on free handouts and 2. Opportunistic criminality.

      Nongoloza - 2011-08-09 09:22

      I was pointing out that there is a high concentration of blacks in tottenham and high unemployment, I am pointing out that the world over the correlation is the same. I never suggested these hopeless lazy things wanted to work, i know they dont want to work, they, like you said, want everything for nothing like they do in this country. How can you construe this to mean that i think they want to work? Is it not you who needs their head read?

      BOFFINBOB - 2011-08-09 10:06

      P123...Stop apologising. Say it. It's a fact. " They " dont apologise when they make comments about " us. " Time to cut the apologetic mindset & speak out...Loud n' Proud.

      Kunta-Kinte - 2011-08-09 12:50

      The caucasian practices violence at state level on a massive scale. Africans know this, so do Asians, South and North Americans,Middle Easterners and South Pacific natives. Every brown person in the world knows the institutionalised violent nature of white males. No people in the history of mankind has unleashed such violence on a continental scale as the caucasian male. FACT!!!!!!!!!!!

      pierreedge - 2011-08-09 13:08

      I was reading something else and it made me think that in contrast to the looting in the UK that will cause probably millions of damage, in the last week, there has been damage causing 2.5 TRILLIONS that have disappeared on the markets worldwide, and it's the white bankers who are guilty again ... The subprime crisis 2007/8 saw the disappearance of around 50 trillions, that 50 thousand billions...caused by white criminal bankers But this is neither here nor there, i see that our white racists south african are always quick to blame black folks for anything and that in their little head, it's always them....

      Epicurius - 2011-08-09 13:09

      @Kunta-Kinte - please provide references to the caucasian origin of the issues in Rwanda and Sudan/Darfur? What about Cambodia? Pakistan/Bangladesh? By no means are caucasians guilt free but you appear quite selectively ignorant in your accusation. Groups other than caucasians are no saints either. Oh, but I'm sure you'll have some leap of logic to spin the responsibility for all genocide onto caucasians.

      Kunta-Kinte - 2011-08-09 13:38

      We agree then, violence is not the perseve of black males.

      Epicurius - 2011-08-09 15:09

      @ Kunta Kinte - Agreed. Anyone who makes such a claim placing blame squarely on either side is ignorant.

  • Colby - 2011-08-09 09:06

    Casspir, buffel, LMG, curfew....then the ones that are left alive, put them on a big ship like the one that ran aground in KZN, tow it out into the Atlantic and see if they can swim. It's about time that the good people of this world stopped pussyfooting around evil people, accepting blame for their shortcomings....shame, they don't have jobs...why? because the pussyfoot liberals think that the workers should always pay for the layabout criminals.....half of England doesn't want to work, it pays better to sniff glue and be a torment to good people. Noe of these people are even English....ship 'em back home and let them see how their own governments treat them.. and don't anyone say that they have been there for generations....the pakistani suicide bombers in 2006 showed how much that matters. Solve all the worlds crises in one fell swoop.....get rid of the blight that is ravaging our world....forever!

      Geoffrey - 2011-08-09 10:20

      Agree with you there ,all they want is free this free that, don't want to work , but destroy and burn comes easy to them for they have not worked for it. same in SA they want and want .

  • Jim - 2011-08-09 09:07

    He is a bit late to react isn't he, after 3 nights of rioting and thuggery.

  • vanetia.mentor - 2011-08-09 09:13

    ja ne..and what did the brit media say bout the world cup that wud be a disaster here in SA?wonder what they reporting on now since the Olympics is going to be held in London?God save the queen.

  • ian - 2011-08-09 09:16

    common criminals, the fat jelli tot will be so proud

  • William - 2011-08-09 09:23

    ha ha...they want to be the most liberal country in the world but truth is they have 20+ nationalities and live in a society which will never mix and now the asylum seekers are unhappy

  • OBwun - 2011-08-09 09:26

    I see that Enoch Powell has become the flavour of the day again? Mayebe Bekhi Cele should go over & show them how it's done!

      Rapier - 2011-08-09 10:19

      Enoch Powell made himself very unpopular in his day when he spoke about a society of "Black & Tans" and this, and a speech he made in 1968: The so-called "Rivers of Blood" speech was a speech criticising Commonwealth immigration, as well as proposed anti-discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom. He said: "As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood." The speech caused a political storm at the time, making Powell one of the most talked about, though divisive, politicians in the country, and leading to his dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative party leader Edward Heath.

      Ross - 2011-08-09 10:45

      That was during Harold Wilson's premiership. He was afterall a useless stupid fool who also hated the Whites in South Africa.

  • impilojen - 2011-08-09 09:28

    I agree with Nongoloza, just read about the mindless destruction of property in S Africa here, in the Universities where they demand more of everything, also these recent strikes where mobs trash everything along the march routes. Not a thought of who and how things are replaced. Being unemployed is no excuse, it's sheer mob violence, no one cares what they do or think of the consequenses. They let in far too many spongers to the UK these days. Freebies must stop, send them back to where they came from like Maggie Thatcher wanted to do but was too late

  • Martin - 2011-08-09 09:29

    With reference to the BBC prior to the Soccer World Cup of 2010, I would like to know if there is a plan B for a host city for next year Olympics?

  • Mark - 2011-08-09 09:30

    It's just and excuse to go on the rampage... Low-life English...

      Clean Carpet Crew - 2011-08-09 10:14

      Its not the English, they're cowering under the bed. Its Africans

  • Walter - 2011-08-09 09:32

    The Brits made their bed. Now they must sleep in it. Enock Powell will be giggling in his grave - "You will regret the day!" (To allow mass immigration into the country from West Indies, West Africa and Islamic countries.) That day has arrived..... and the bobbies are prohibited from reacting in the manner they should. Shoot the bastards!

      p123 - 2011-08-09 10:00

      Bobbies are totally useless, no balls whatsoever!!!

  • Gary - 2011-08-09 09:38

    The issue with the UK is that they are allowing foreigners in and giving them benefits and saying f-off to their own countrymen/ woman. I should know, I've seen it first hand. Was bound to catch up with them sooner or later.

  • Carolyn - 2011-08-09 09:42

    Deport the Boogy Man

  • Nadia - 2011-08-09 09:45

    Makes me so mad. They get a free house, free medical, free dental, FREE money, free school if they want it but they still feel cheated. I have no sympathy. They think they're gangsters but they are just idiots. Sick of paying high taxes for their 'poor' lifestyle. Living in London is not all its cracked up to be.

      10111 - 2011-08-09 10:11

      Mmm, sounds like...

      jester - 2011-08-09 10:55

      Nadia, couldn't have said it better myself! Spot on!

  • Vince York - 2011-08-09 09:47

    British at last realizing the extent to which they have welcomed terrorists in varying guises into their home, hearth and bosom? Germany rallying at all the cloaked and dagger minaret insurgents hellbent on transforming that nation too. France similarly transforming from quality to blemished quantity. And Africans, hellbent on getting away from the poverty stricken promise of a life in destitution and patriarchal servitude are drowning in untold numbers to exacerbate the dire situation so clearly shown in these European countries. Then the eternal middle east never ending story. The rise of the over-populated Far East hysteria and quiet subversion of ANYWHERE else. And the teetering of the BRICS countries hanging onto all the above apron strings and actually instituting brutal dictatorships with massive growth of young serfs. Then the northern russian states having finally reached the low status of the 1920 Chicago don's! WHICH will break and implode completely first and why? WATER? GOLD? Multiple wives? Populist dictators with enriched connected? Sheer upsurge in insanity and stupidity of average serf?

  • AndrĂ© S - 2011-08-09 10:11

    The gap between the super-rich and the middle-class has become planets apart. 95% of the world's riches belonging to 5% of it's population ... It's a hard one to swallow for most people. The future has been "programmed' for the super-rich - winner takes all, bugger the rest - a perfect scenario for riots all over the world, not only in London.

  • jester - 2011-08-09 10:43

    These kids are spoilt rotten lazy brats! And now that they are not getting what they want, they are throwing a tantrum; kicking and screaming on the floor like a bunch of hooligans! They need a blinkin hiding!! No jobs? Get them to clean up the mess they have created fixing all the damage!

  • Ross - 2011-08-09 10:47

    Has Ghaddafi got anything to do with this?

  • 106SA - 2011-08-09 11:26

    Called 'toy-toing/strikes/service delivery protests in SA,and it's that same mentality at large.Disgruntled useless communities and individuals who want everything for free!!!!!!!

  • Louis - 2011-08-09 13:15

    There is no truth in the rumour that this is racially motivated. But is is funny how many faces are dark while most police faces are white.

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