CLASHES continued to spread across London today with Hackney becoming the latest district to witness unrest on the streets following the killing of an allegedly armed man in Tottenham on Thursday.
Hundreds of police in full riot gear charged crowds of mainly passive observers in Hackney’s main thoroughfare, Mare Street, this afternoon after being showered with bricks and bottles by groups of masked youths.
The violence started after a man was arrested in Hackney’s semi pedestrianised shopping street the Narrow Way following a stand-off between police and local teenagers, a witness said.
The trouble then moved a few hundred metres down the road to Mare Street where the police attempted to force the crowds south towards London Fields.
As they did a sports car in a side-street, Ellingfort Road, was set on fire outside clothes warehouse, Carhartt, which was broken into and looted moments earlier.
Several other cars in the street had their windscreens smashed.
As the crowds dispersed there were reports of trouble spreading to other parts of the borough.
Tesco’s in Morning Lane was also targeted with bottles of stolen Diet Coke being handed out to passers by.
Many shops pre-empted the violence and shut-up shop early with others boarding up their windows.
Reports of violence in East Ham, also in East London, and Lewisham and Peckham in South London are also emerging.
Police had arrested 215 people since the unrest began on Saturday including an 11-year-old boy with 136 still in custody as of 3pm today.
On Thursday evening armed police shot and killed Mark Duggan in Tottenham in a planned operation after stopping the taxi he was in.
Police have since implied they were shot at after stating a bullet was found in a police radio, however, subsequent reports suggest it was a police bullet.
Trouble first erupted on Saturday night after a peaceful protest by friends, family of Mr Duggan and other members of the community unhappy at the police tactics and a failure to keep the family informed of events.
By Sunday morning a bus and a number of shops and homes were burned out following a night of rioting.
It would appear the killing has unleashed a wave of pent-up anger at the police and government spending cuts that disproportionately affect the poor, however, people have also been accused of taking advantage of the breakdown in order looting shops selling branded goods.
More worryingly for police, the blazon confrontations, trashing of property and theft could further encourage disaffected people and criminals across the city to take to the streets stretching their already limited resources to the limit at a time when police numbers have effectively been cut following recruitment freezes by the Mayor.
The multi-billion pound spending cuts enforced on local councils by the government has seen support services and benefits to the needy and poor slashed as bankers and corporations are seen to continue to make large profits while billions are spent on wars abroad.