Police and firefighters struggled to control riots across London overnight as officers were attacked, shops looted and dozens of buildings set on fire.
The violence began in Hackney shortly after 4pm yesterday when a mob of hooded youths began hurling missiles at officers and setting fire to bins and cars. Within hours similar scenes erupted in Lewisham, spreading to Peckham, Deptford and Croydon in south east London.
Hundreds of fires were started all over the capital, from Camden in the north, Woolwich in the south east, Ealing in west London and then, more worryingly, a series of copy cat disturbances in Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool have emerged.
West Midlands Police said it had made about 100 arrests and confirmed that a police station in Handsworth, Birmingham, was on fire. Merseyside Police said there were a number of incidents in South Liverpool, including cars being set on alight.
Avon and Somerset Police reported around 150 rioters were in Bristol city centre, with main roads closed and a number of shops damaged.
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