Key events in Britain's riots

9th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain has been hit by its worst riots in decades, with gangs smashing buildings, looting shops and starting fires in London for three successive nights and the violence spreading to other cities.

Here is a timeline of key events:

Thursday, August 4:

- Police shoot dead Mark Duggan, 29, in the deprived north London district of Tottenham, where relations between police and the community have long been strained.

Officers stopped the taxi the father-of-four was travelling in to carry out an arrest as part of a police operation against gun crime in the black community.

Saturday, August 6:

- 1630 GMT: About 120 people march peacefully to Tottenham police station demanding "justice" for Duggan's family. As anger mounts hundreds more people gather in the streets of Tottenham.

Two police cars are attacked before rioting erupts in the area, with windows smashed, petrol bombs thrown and buildings and a double-decker bus set on fire. It continues into the early hours with widespread looting of shops.

Sunday, August 7:

- Trouble spreads to Brixton, south London, where three police officers need hospital treatment after being injured and a shoe store is set alight and several properties are damaged.

In Enfield, north London, youths vandalise a police car and smash windows, with mounted police brought in to tackle the violence.

Disturbances are reported in several other areas including Walstamstow, Islington and Oxford Circus.

Monday, August 8:

- Violence breaks out in Hackney, east London, reportedly after police tried to carry out a stop and search operation. Scores of young people smash up buildings and torch parked cars.

- Disturbances spread like wildfire through London, with riots erupting in many districts including Croydon, Clapham Junction, and Lewisham in south London; Ealing and Notting Hill in west London; and Camden and Enfield in north London.

- Violence also spreads to other English cities including Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.

- Home Secretary Theresa May returns from holiday to deal with the crisis. Prime Minister David Cameron announces that he will cut short his own vacation in Italy and return on Tuesday, while London Mayor Boris Johnson also says he will return.

Tuesday, August 9:

- Cameron chairs a meeting of the COBRA emergency committee and announces that parliament will be recalled Thursday, a total of 16,000 police are to be deployed in London Tuesday, and vows the government will do "everything necessary" to stop the violence.

- The Football Association announces that England's friendly against Holland at Wembley Stadium scheduled for Wednesday has been called off.

- The violence claims its first victim, a 26-year-old man who was shot during the riots in Croydon. Police launch a murder investigation.

- An inquest into the death of Duggan is opened briefly and adjourned after hearing that he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. A police watchdog says there is no evidence Duggan opened fire at police.

- As of 4:45 pm (1545 GMT), police say 563 people have been arrested and 105 charged over the violence. Forty-eight police are injured.

© 2011 AFP

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