First rioters jailed in British violence spree

10th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The first two criminals convicted over the looting and violence sweeping England were jailed Thursday, police said, hailing the effect of "swift justice".

Greater Manchester Police, the constabulary covering northern England's biggest city and its environs, said two men had been imprisoned for public order offences.

"Two people already jailed for their part in last night's disorder -- swift justice," the force said on their Twitter feed.

"Two men sentenced to 10 weeks and 16 weeks. First of many.

"Extra courts sitting tonight to deal with prisoners. GMP will update with all the sentences as soon as they are given," the force promised.

Manchester's police have taken a robust approach from the start towards the looters. More than 100 people have been arrested.

GMP's Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan warned: "My message is extremely simple: hundreds and hundreds of people -- we have your image, we have your face, we have your acts of wanton criminality on film.

"We are coming for you from today, and no matter how long it takes, we will arrest those people responsible."

Hundreds of masked youths tore through the centre of Britain's third-largest city on Tuesday on a looting spree. A huge group of youths engaged in running battles with hundreds of riot police.

Mobs smashed into shoe shops, electronics stores and clothes shops and set fire to a girls' clothing store.

Gangs of thugs also ran amok in the Arndale shopping centre, the city's main central shopping mall.

Shewan said the violence, looting and arson in Manchester was an act of "senseless violence and senseless criminality" on a scale not witnessed in 30 years.

"These are pure and simple criminals running wild."

© 2011 AFP

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