Liverpool riots: City hit by 5 hours of violence as disorder spreads beyond London

Violence flared in Liverpool overnight for up to five hours as hundreds of rioters marauded through the streets to the south of the city centre.
Cars and wheelie bins were set alight on a trail of destruction which stretched from the city centre to Toxteth, Dingle and Wavertree.

The first reports of disorder came in at 10pm and calm was not restored until about 3am.

Police appeared to largely combat what they labelled “isolated outbreaks of disorder” by attempting to contain the troublemakers rather than charge into running battles.

A mob of about 300 people, mainly youths with their heads and faces covered, were the source of the mayhem in the largely residential areas.

As the night progressed the group became more fragmented as officers in riot gear and wielding batons, supported by police vans, sealed roads off.

Several stand-offs did take place though as the rioters pelted officers with anything they could get their hands on with missiles used ranging from golf clubs to bricks and bottles.

Each flashpoint would end with the mob dispersing and often regrouping elsewhere to resume their hostilities.

A particularly fierce confrontation took place near to Admiral Street police station as stunned residents peered on from outside their terraced homes behind the the police cordon as officers came under attack from a 100-strong mob.

Many onlookers came out of their houses while others took to their cars to witness the scenes of chaos for themselves and outnumbered the number of rioters.

At times the areas affected resembled evening rush hour as officers constantly reminded the public to stay clear and warn them it was not safe.

After midnight, police warned members of the public to avoid the Smithdown Road, Upper Parliament Street, Lodge Lane and Lawrence Road areas.

The troublemakers caused particular havoc in Princes Road and Princes Avenue where several cars were set ablaze and vandalised with sticks.

Riot police tracked them at a distance and followed them on to High Park Street where a works van was ignited and the windows were smashed in at Mount Carmel Social Club.

Wheelie bins were scattered across the road and set alight by the yobs in a bid to hamper the police pursuit.

Homes appeared to be spared on the trail of damage and there were no reports of injuries.

However, there were reports that the Tesco Express store in Myrtle Street was looted – with some of the raiders said by witnesses to be as young as 10.

By 3am the police had set up roadblocks at all the various troublespots and remained there as some sense of normality returned as police helicopters continued to circle the skies.

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