Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Rampage spreads to several cities

Police near the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham as violence spread to the city
Police near the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham as violence spread to the city
A jewellers shop is targeted near the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham

Police in Birmingham have arrested around 100 people after rioters and looters rampaged across the city centre, mirroring the chaotic scenes in London.

Hundreds of youths gathered in the city's main retail area close to the Bullring shopping mall, which closed its doors early in anticipation of violence.

Some bystanders sobbed as rioters, their faces covered with hats, scarves and hoods, attacked jewellery and computer stores on the city's High Street. Shops and fast food outlets on Corporation Street, Temple Row, High Street and New Street appeared to bear the brunt of the violence.

Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe said many of those arrested were young people and urged parents to make sure they knew where their children were.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said staff were called to 34 incidents in the city, the last of which came in at just after 3am. The majority of calls were to reports of people being assaulted.

Violence flared in Liverpool for up to five hours as hundreds of rioters marauded through the streets to the south of the city centre. Cars and wheelie bins were set alight on a trail of destruction which stretched from the city centre to Toxteth, Dingle and Wavertree. The first reports of disorder came in at 10pm and calm was not restored until about 3am.

Police appeared to largely combat what they labelled "isolated outbreaks of disorder" by attempting to contain the troublemakers rather than charge into running battles. A mob of about 300 people, mainly youths with their heads and faces covered, were the source of the mayhem in the largely residential areas.

And copycat rioters rampaged through Bristol with police chiefs warning of "volatile" scenes in the city centre. More than 150 young rioters caused disruption in the areas of St Paul's and Stokes Croft, the scene of rioting earlier this year amid anger over a new Tesco store, and residents were told to avoid the city centre.

Nottinghamshire Police said officers dealt with a number of sporadic disturbances in the St Anne's area of Nottingham, arresting a boy of 16 and a 20-year-old. The local police station was attacked, up to 40 private vehicles were damaged, windows of houses were smashed and a container of 200 tyres was set alight, according the force.

In Kent, five people were arrested by police following trouble in the Medway area. The force said fires had been set across Chatham, Rainham and Gillingham.

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