World News‎ > ‎

Clean-up begins after London rioters battle police after shooting protest

posted 7 Aug 2011, 04:05 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Aug 2011, 04:10 ]
Shopkeepers begin to assess the damage to their businesses after London rioters battle police after shooting protest.

TOTTENHAM, LONDON, ENGLAND, UK REUTERS -   Rioters throwing petrol bombs battled police in a economically deprived district of London overnight (August 6-7), setting patrol cars, buildings and a double-decker bus on fire in some of the worst disorder seen in the British capital for recent years.

About 200 people rained missiles and bottles on riot officers near Tottenham district police station after a street protest over the fatal shooting of a man by armed officers earlier in the week turned violent.

Mounted police and riot officers on foot in turn charged the crowd to push them back.

Eight officers were taken to hospital, one with head injuries, as rioters smashed windows and looted buildings including banks, shops and a supermarket and torched three police cars in the main road near the local police station.

The trouble broke out on Saturday night following a peaceful demonstration over the shooting of Mark Duggan, 29, who was killed after an exchange of gunfire with police on Thursday.

Duggan had been in a taxi when it was stopped by armed officers as part of a pre-planned operation. One policeman escaped unhurt after a bullet struck his radio. Duggan's death is being investigated by the independent police watchdog.

"I think it's sick what they have done just over a shooting. They have just took it too far, they have gone to Enfield, they have gone to Wood Green. It's just stupidness, people have got to live here," a local resident called Mark said on Sunday morning.

Although there have been riots in other European countries linked to austerity measures to tackle large national debts, London police and local community leaders said anger at Duggan's shooting was the cause of the riot.

Tottenham has a large number of ethnic minorities and includes areas with the highest unemployment rates in London. It also has a history of racial tension with local young people, especially blacks, resenting police behaviour including the use of stop and search powers.

Another Tottenham blamed the rioting on drug fuelled teenagers.

"It is all teenagers, teenagers shouldn't do that. I can't believe that the teenagers do this. but there are some people using drugs, this means they can do anything that's needed. If they need drugs they will do everything," he said.

While the bulk of the disturbance had been brought under control early on Sunday, pockets of trouble were still erupting nearby. Buildings were smouldering with plumes of smoke billowing across the skyline.