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Riots Expand Outside London as Many Britons Worry Over Safety, Property

August 10, 2011 at 12:00 AM EDT
Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday denounced the violent riots spreading across Britain, as the number of arrests neared 1,200. Steve Douglas and Lewis Vaughan Jones of International Television News report from Manchester and Birmingham, respectively.
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MARGARET WARNER: And to the riots in Britain, where nearly 1,200 have been arrested. London remained relatively calm today, but violence and looting has spread to other cities.

Prime Minister David Cameron authorized police to use plastic bullets and water cannons, though, so far, they haven’t been deployed. Cameron also denounced the rioters and others, including those who carried out an assault and robbery on a foreign student, captured on camera.

DAVID CAMERON, British prime minister: We needed a fight back, and a fight back is under way. There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but, frankly, sick. When we see children as young as 12 and 13 looting and laughing, when we see the disgusting sight of an injured young man, with people pretending to help him while they are robbing him, it is clear there are things that are badly wrong in our society.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Some of the worst rioting in the past 24 hours has been in the city of Manchester.

We have a report from Steve Douglas of Independent Television News.

STEVE DOUGLAS: Another night and another city consumed by rioting. This was a Miss Selfridge store ablaze in Manchester’s city center. It appeared to be started by a teenager moments earlier, who calmly walked away.

Today, an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson. Hours earlier, Greater Manchester Police released images of those they’re searching for on a night when they struggled to cope.

Here, you can see a TV being looted from this shop. So, with the possibility of violence, was it right to send 100 officers to help in London?

CHIEF CONSTABLE PETER FAHY, greater Manchester police: We were prepared. We had done a huge amount of work during the day. We had a lot of officers on duty. We had already changed to 12-hour shifts to have even more officers on duty.

STEVE DOUGLAS: The riots were worse in Salford. Here, cars and buildings burned. The police charged, but for large periods, the streets didn’t belong to them. Lawlessness and looting prevailed. At the center was a shopping precinct on fire and under siege.

RYAN GRESTY, eyewitness: It’s a bit sad, really. Just — it’s just people frustrated. The people are frustrated, like, because they’re going into, like, benefits.

STEVE DOUGLAS: In total, 113 arrests were made. Some have sympathy with the police. Others believe they were unprepared and overstretched. But few want a repeat.

MARGARET WARNER: One incident attracting attention and demonstrating how the violence is crossing ethnic lines took place last night in England’s second largest city, Birmingham.

Three young men are dead and a community is in mourning.

ITN’s Lewis Vaughan Jones reports.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: On this street, three people were killed after a collision with a car. Police have been testing conditions as part of their murder investigation.

In the early hours of the morning, a group of men were standing here to protect their businesses from looters. Three of them were hit by a car.

Shahzad Ali, his brother Abdul Musavir, and Haroon Jahan died this morning.

TARIK JAHAN, father of hit-and-run victim: I can’t describe to anyone what it feels like to lose your son.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: Tarik Jahan heard the crash that killed his son Haroon.

TARIK JAHAN: And somebody told me that my son was lying behind me. So I started CPR on my own son. My face was covered in blood. My hands were covered in blood. Why? Why?

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: This was Haroon as a schoolboy. He was 21 when he died.

TARIK JAHAN: He was a good — he was a good lad. And, basically, he was standing here defending his community. Anything I ever wanted done, I would always ask Haroon to sort it out for me, not my eldest or my daughter, but my youngest. And they killed him. That’s all.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: At a public meeting, anger at police that people feel they have to protect themselves and fears of divisions between communities.

Relatives of Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir told me the brothers were popular and hardworking.

ABDUL YASSER KHAN, cousin of victim: Always done well for everybody around them. And that’s what they were doing last night. They were doing well for the mosque and the neighborhood, which the police should be — have done.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: Many are standing together here, for there are fears of more breakdown on the streets tonight.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The British House of Commons, called back from summer vacation, will hold a special debate on the violence tomorrow.