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Civil unrest: Looting spreads from London to other UK cities

Following the first two nights of rioting and looting in North London, the chaos has continued for a third night and spread to other areas of London including Peckham, Clapham, Croydon, Hackney, Camden, Lewisham and surprisingly Ealing.

But it has not confined itself to the capital. 'Copycat riots' also broke out in Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and Bristol.

Clearly the riots no longer have anything to do with the protest about the death of Mark Duggan, which occurred last Thursday 4 August, and are now the product of opportunists taking advantage of the situation to steal and loot.

Businesses have been closing early in an attempt to protect their stock, but looters have still been causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has cut short his holiday to return to the UK for a COBRA (Cabinet Office briefing room A) crisis meeting. The Government has already ruled out bringing in the armed forces to stamp out the riots, and Home Secretary Theresa May also ruled out the use of water cannons.

Ms May stated: "The way we police in Britain is not through use of water cannon.

"The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities."

David Cameron gave a speech outside Number 10 Downing Street, saying: "We will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and make them safe for the law-abiding.

He promised that rioters would "feel the full force of the law". But, despite there being hundreds of arrests already, many locals in the affected areas are claiming there was a distinct lack of a police presence.

Mr Cameron announced that all police leave was to be cancelled, and tonight there are expected to be some 16,000 police officers on duty in London.

Related links:
Read more on the story (BBC)
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