Liverpool suffered a second night of riots on Tuesday following a day spent repairing damage already caused in the city, with 50 arrests reported across Merseyside so far.
After a lull early on Tuesday evening, hundreds of people took to the streets again to cause unrest, as police were attacked by various missiles in scenes mirroring those in London, where larger-scale riots have been taking place since Saturday.
Riot police were involved in new incidents on Smithdown Road and Lodge Lane, where groups of around 200 youths gathered. Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown, with four fire service vehicles later attacked in nearby Lawrence Road as they tried to put out car fires. People were advised to avoid the area.
The centre of Birkenhead was sealed off after several buildings were damaged, while a man was arrested after attempting to crash a JCB into a Bootle Post Office.
With apprehension and tension across Liverpool, many
bars and shops closed early and there was a marked
increase in police activity on Tuesday.
Two officers were injured in Liverpool on Monday, and in
a statement, Merseyside Police moved to reassure the
city’s residents that those involved would eventually be
brought to justice.
It read: “The force will take every opportunity to deal
robustly with any criminal or person that causes
problems on our streets. A police operation is in place
with an enhanced and robust police response to ensure
that any disorder is swiftly and firmly dealt with.
"Perpetrators will be tracked down and placed before
Liverpool City Council leader Councillor Joe Anderson
offered a similarly defiant response to the riots, as he
insisted that the authorities are working hard to make
sure that order is being restored to the city's streets.
He said: "We deplore in the strongest terms the street
violence and criminality which took place around the city
centre and parts of South Liverpool last night (August 8).
"Cleaning-up work has already started and the council,
along with the police and other partners, are working
hard to put all the areas affected back to normal as soon
as possible," Cllr Anderson added.
The Apple store at Liverpool One was among those taking preventative measures by removing all stock from display, while some retail park superstores boarded up their windows.
Twitter has played a huge part in events taking place in the city since Monday night, with the clear-up operation bolstered by the hashtag #liverpoolcleanup, which encouraged local residents to gather en masse to help clear debris off the streets. Mark Hesford tweeted: “The #liverpoolcleanup demonstrates the real face of a truly wonderful city. Here's hoping for a calm night there (and Manchester too).”
A number of false and occasionally bizarre claims have been made alongside the hashtag #liverpoolriots, with rumours of new violence on Tuesday proving mostly unfounded until around 11.30pm. A new page on Twitter under the name @liverpoolriots says it is aiming to supply factual information to those concerned about the riots, while dispelling some of the myths.
Prime Minister David Cameron flew back early from his holiday in Tuscany to address the nation in response to the riots on Tuesday morning. He assured the public that a strong police presence would be visible over the next 24 hours. Mr Cameron described the scenes as “sickening”, and warned those taking part in the unrest: "You will feel the full force of the law. And if you are old enough to commit these crimes, you are old enough to face the punishment."
However, Manchester and Salford were among the first new trouble-spots to emerge on Tuesday, along with fresh riots in Birmingham and West Bromwich, although London had a relatively quieter night.
By Jonathan Birchall, Managing Editor
Liverpool riots 2011 stories
Riot police on Smithdown Road on Tuesday night; YouTube: mounted police move in to deal with the riot
YouTube: BBC North West on the aftermath of the first night of riots in Liverpool
LIVERPOOL RIOTS 2011
© BBC North West