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August riots: UK update on Police

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You may recall the student protests of November 2010 there was also much damage caused to London, before the riots of August 2011. Both of the latter prolific events that have hit England have seen clashes with the Police.

Here are some key images from the student protest that turned violent:

The police have had to face this same problem of violence against them and the August riots have become another similar scene:

Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers has spoken of historical riots and of people who clash with the police:

“with many of these events, it is a case of people who feel disenfranchised in the far broader sense exhibiting their displeasure with the current government through attacking the cops—not far different from what you saw [at the student protests].”

The question that should be looked at now – is whether this is a real solution to anything – many would argue that we live in a democracy where one can make their voices heard in a ‘realistic’ way such as mass peaceful protest, which in the student protests many abided to.

The same cannot be said about the August riots – what started off as a peaceful protest on Friday 5th August, (Thursday 4th August was the shooting of Mark Duggan which occured at 6:15pm) turned into a full blown riot on Saturday night (6th August), copy cat riots happened all across the UK. Although in the student riots the majority were peaceful; The August riots it is reported – (by many including BBC’s Panorama) – that a group of between 200 and 300 turned violent outside a police station in Tottenham (there is also speculation that this was due to a female being hit by a police officer). The police have labelled these riots in the aftermath as having to deal with a “unique” situation/case (where the majority were no longer abidng to a peaceful protest) – protests are mainly and usually peaceful in the UK which is mostly the case and these actions of protest are welcomed and applauded by the Government, the rioting and looting are not, and the government and courts are ensuring that those involved become conscious of this, through regular speeches and sentencing.

Hugh Orde – said of the student riots in November 2010 : “My sense of it was that the vast majority of people were exercising their democratic right to protest. But embedded in that crowd were people absolutely determined to cause as much disorder and mayhem as they could.” he also says they don’t know what their doing and that “they get caught up in the event.”

President Orde also said in the interview which was in February this year – of the student protests – “My sense is that the majority of people don’t want to cause extreme violence, and I still believe that it is not good enough to throw our hands up in the air and say  oh, we can’t negotiate because there is no one to negotiate with.”

Mr Orde goes on to say “There are lots of people we can talk to, but they need to stand up and lead their people too. If they don’t, we must be clear that the people who wish to demonstrate won’t engage, communicate or share what they intend to do with us, and so our policing tactics will have to be different. And the public [will] have a much better understanding of why police tactics have to be slightly more extreme, if the public understands that the only reason these tactics are necessary is that protestors will not engage with us pre-event. If the protestors will not talk to us, well, we can’t just not police the event.”

Many from the Government – as things stand – may question why the police did not take a more pro-arrest approach and use robust methods if necessary; if this action would further protect people and their property and community. The police overall managed to stop the rioting a week after the shooting of Mr Duggan. And there have been a few hero stories from the police – side – where a small group of officers took on hundreds of rioters by charging them and securing their perimeters together. The riots have caused worldwide condemnation and shock – they have also left much damage and altered communities dramatically in their appearance.

 As for the police they have been described as using what has been described as “soft” tactics; and David Cameron said: “The tactics the police were using weren’t working”. The police will be receiving further training and a review of the police is to take place. Also the government are looking to go ahead with police-cuts.

Mr Cameron also announced :

“The security fightback will start with a stronger police presence – walking the beat, deterring crime and ready to crack down at the first sign of trouble. Paperwork will be reduced to get more police officers out on the streets, while accountability to the public will be improved through elected police and crime commissioners. Police powers will also be increased. The police already have the power to issue dispersal orders, while over the coming months:

  • gang injunctions will be extended to under-18s
  • police will be allowed to remove face coverings from rioters
  • the power to confiscate offenders’ property will be looked at”

The government and the police have since the rioting looked at police powers:  The police have already been authorised to use baton rounds. While water cannons aren’t currently needed, plans have been put in place for them to be available at 24 hours’ notice. The police will also be given the discretion to remove face coverings under any circumstances where there is reasonable suspicion that they are related to criminal activity.

In other news: Sir Hugh Orde has applied to be the next Commisioner of the Metropolitan Police – after Sir Paul Stephenson resigned over the News of the World hacking scandal. More than 3,300 people have now been arrested across the country.

Courts in London, Manchester and the West Midlands are working hard to clear the backlog of cases.

The IPCC are still working on their report of the shooting of Mark Duggan.

Blog Hacked after Blackberry agree to co-operate with Police: England Riots 2011

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Blackberry has recently had their Blog hacked and a message was left for Blackberry on their own blog. This hacking occurred after Blackberry said they will co-operate with the police. They called themselves Team Poison.

The message left on Blackberry’s official blog was :

This hack is a response to this statement by RIM:

We feel for those impacted by this weekend’s riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can. As in all markets around the world Where BlackBerry is available, we cooperate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials. Similar to other technology providers in the UK we comply with The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and co-operate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces.”

Dear Rim;
You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment…. if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g – Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. – now if u assist the police, we _WILL_ make this information public and pass it onto rioters…. do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it…. and don’t think that the police will protect your employees, the police can’t protect themselves let alone protect others….. if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don’t be a puppet..

p.s – we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government…. and before anyone says “the blackberry employees are innocent” no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police
– TriCk – TeaMp0isoN –
– Greets To: iN^SaNe – Hex00010 – MLT – BlackHacker
– Knowledge is Power . . . . .
Twitter: @TeaMp0isoN_
– TriCk”

The blog no longer remains defaced and its blogging as usual for Blackberry.

In other news two men in their early 20s were sentenced to four years in prison for organizing riots on Facebook, these riots did not go ahead and now lawyers and civil rights groups are making their views heard saying this action is disproportionate.

Chester riots combo

Jordan Blackshaw, left, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, both pleaded guilty to using Facebook in attempts to fuel riots in Cheshire. They have been jailed for four years.

A particular comment from the judge was : “This happened at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation. Your conduct was quite disgraceful and the title of the message you posted on Facebook chills the blood.

“You sought to take advantage of crime elsewhere and transpose it to the peaceful streets of Northwich. The idea revolted many right thinking members of society. No one actually turned up due to the prompt and efficient actions of police in using modern policing.”

The police are now trying to acquire further powers over social media and a No 10 source said that “the Government would examine the technical and moral questions of blocking users’ access to a service, as well as looking at whether police powers had kept pace with modern technology.”

Blackberry and social media used by Police to stop riots

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The police managed to stop the Olympic stadium (and other key hotspots, for potential riots) from being damaged through online and phone monitoring. They used the information found on phones and online to organise police presence at these potentially targeted places. The police are now looking into the possibility of shutting down these mediums in any similar events.

This comes amidst talks by the Government and in particular Theresa May, who have all suggested that social media and Blackberry’s may be banned in their use during times of crisis.

Mr Cameron has said whilst at the emergency Parliament meeting last Thursday:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner – Ms Lynne Owens spoke of officers sifting through an “overwhelming” amount of “chitter chatter” on social networks during last week’s riots in London, she went on to say: “Through Twitter and BBM there was intelligence that the Olympic site, that both Westfields [shopping centres] and Oxford Street were indeed going to be targeted,” she told the home affairs select committee. Ms Owens also said: “We were able to secure all those places and indeed there was no damage at any of them.”

RiM – Research in Motion the company that produces Blackberry’s have said they will co-operate with the police and by law the police are able to serve Rim with an order to reveal information. Under the same law, Rim are barred from disclosing whether they’ve done so or not.

This is underThe Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) provides that the interception of communications is unlawful in most cases. However, the Act states that law enforcement agencies, including the police and MI5, can force telecoms companies to hand over customers’ details in order to tap phone, internet or email communications to protect the UK’s national security interests, prevent and detect terrorism and serious crime or to safeguard the UK’s economic well-being.

The communications industry is still striving to further the world of communications – as Apple are set to launch a messenger service on their i-phones and facebook are to make available a messenger with Android phones. The government will be taking this into consideration too.

The Association of British Insurers has estimated the cost from the riots and looting at 200 million pounds ($326 million) this total is expected to rise.

England Riots News Update: 15/8/2011

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The Police and the Government have been the focus of the media recently for their handling of the Riots of 2011 and also their bantering over who took the decisions that helped to stop the riots.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May in Clapham on Tuesday

Theresa May came under criticism by the police for saying she took the decisions of what the police should be doing on the streets at the time of the riots – such as the implementation of a 16,000 strong Police presence on the streets of London; the police countered this saying it was their decision to make and they were the ones who made the decisions.

The police have also come under criticism as their actions initially were not up to scratch with dealing with the riots and were seen as too soft. They were also criticised for handling the situation as a public disorder one, rather than one of criminality; as a result shops and businesses were left ransacked and on fire.

Civil liberties and Human Rights campaigner Liberty’s director of policy, Isabella Sankey said: “A country can be judged by how it responds to a crisis,” asserted Sankey. “Riots across England have filled our TV screens with terrible images of violence and criminality, and damaged communities have rightly demanded answers about the strategy of the authorities.”

David Cameron said that the police got their tactics wrong he went on to say “Police chiefs have been frank with me about why this happened. Initially, the police treated the situation too much as a public order issue – rather than essentially one of crime”.

The Prime-minister has also spoke of the police today, he said “Nothing in this job is more important to me than keeping people safe. It is obvious to me that to do that we’ve got to be tough, we’ve got to be robust…That starts with a stronger police presence – pounding the beat, deterring crime, ready to re-group and crack down at the first sign of trouble.”

Mr Cameron is also to bring in a top-cop from the US Mr Bill Bratton who has dealt with policing gang-culture in his time as chief police officer for New York, in an effort to stop future rioting.

It hasn’t only been Mr Cameron who has been making speeches so too has – Ed Miliband and Mr Miliband has spoke again of holding an inquiry from the communities involved in the riots, in a speech today he said, – “I urge the Prime Minister to establish this commission of inquiry without delay. If he does not do it, in the coming days I will.”

The question this week that everyone is trying to find an answer to is why these riots took place – and why they took place on such a large scale. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter were identified as the culprits, for the way these riots were organised as well as Blackberry’s.

A Blackberry spokesman said: “We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can”.

At the time of the riots David Lammy MP for Tottenham had voiced his concerns and had called for BlackBerry’s messenger service to be suspended.

David Cameron and Theresa May have recently been calling for powers to block suspected rioters from using BlackBerry, Facebook, and Twitter. Theresa May is to meet with RiM (Research in Motion) who produce Blackberry’s, she is also to meet with Twitter and Facebook in a meeting where the riots and the use of social media are to be discussed along with the idea of blocking access in times of crisis. Blackberry holds 37% of the mobile teenage market.

This week also saw the BBC’s Newsnight on the front page of the Guardian as well as being the discussion of many news-agencies, as one of the programmes guests David Starkey was controversially putting the riots down to Black Jamaican ‘patois’ culture. Mr Miliband has condemned Mr Starkey for his comments.

As for the IPCC – they have said they initially provided wrong information to the media about the exchange of shots by Mark Duggan – who is now said to have not used his gun although forensics are still investigating whether the gun found on the scene was fired or not – the gun was said to be hidden within a sock.

The number of phone calls the police received were over 20,000 on the worst night of rioting.

The number of arrests so far are are more than 1600.

The Mayor Boris Johnson has criticised the government’s plans to make cuts to the police, as have the Labour Party. This is an issue that will be looked at closely by the media in the coming weeks.

Liberty’s Director Shami Chakrabarthy has said: “It’s clear that this completely destructive lawlessness has no rational connection with the shooting in Tottenham. Nonetheless, it’s vital that the IPCC undertakes a speedy and thorough investigation into the death [of Mark Duggan]. This wanton violent disorder serves only to distract from that vital inquiry.”

England 12/8/2011: Run-down of Riots (List of Places Rioted Included)

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The Government has now put measures into place such as the increased number of police presence on the streets and the potential to use water canons to bring the rioting to an end, if in any circumstances they begin again.

As for Police injuries 300 officers have been injured and a police officer died in the riots in Wembley, after being run-over, three people have been arrested on suspicion of Murder. 60 civilians were injured in the riots.

A rundown of the riots since Saturday 6th August: Riots started in Tottenham, then moved on to Tottenham Hale, and Wood Green.

Sunday 7th saw riots spread to Chingford Mount, Enfield, Islington, Oxford Circus, Ponders End, Walthamstow.

On Monday 8th there were riots in Bethnal Green, Bromley, Camden, Clapham, Croydon, Ealing, East Ham, Hackney Lewisham, Peckham, Stratford, Woolwich.

Tuesday 9th August saw riots in Birmingham,Clapham, Leicester, Manchester, Salford, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton.

The other places riots took place were: Balham, Barking, Battersea, Bexley, Birkenhead,Birmingham, Bristol, Brixton, Bury, Cambridge, Camden/Chalk Farm, Charlton, Chingford, Colliers Wood, Coulsdon, Dalston, Dulwich, Denmark Hill, Eastham, Elephant and Castle, Enfield, Fulham, Hackney, Harlesden, Huddersfield, Islington, Kent, Lavender Hill, Leicester, Lewisham, Leyton, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Merton, Norbury, Nottingham, Notting Hill, Oldham, Peckham, Ponders End,  Purley Way, Rochdale, Sefton, Shephard’s Bush, Salford, Stratford, Streatham, Stoke Newington, Surrey Quays, Sutton, Thornton Heath, Tooting, Waltham Cross, Walthomstow Forest, Wirral,  Wembley, Wolverhampton, Woolwich.

Major fires were started in Barking, Clapham Junction, Croydon, Dagenham, Ealing, Greenwich, and Southwark.

Theresa May has said: “The police will maintain their tough arrest policy, and their presence on the streets.”

The streets of England seem calm for the moment.

The Fifth Night of London Riots 10/8/2011 and 11/8/2011 Parliamentary Session

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Latest Map of riots occuring in the UK:

at 7:44pm – 10/8/2011

The riots are said to  be started by the shooting of Mark Duggan – and a peaceful protest in Tottenham turned violent outside a police station, since then the UK has seen similar scenes of violence. It has seen ministers come home from their holidays and they have been making statements.

Boris Johnson addresses the crowd holding a broom in Clapham

A unique quote from the past few days is from Boris Johnson: who said before he came back from holiday – “I am not going to come back at the moment because I have complete confidence in the police and I think that they are doing a very, very good job … the people who did this were criminals and their behaviour was criminal behaviour and it was in no way justified by the questions that people are asking about Michael Duggan”. (Metro) He had got Mark Duggan’s name wrong – and that’s not been all the news of Boris Johnson – he was heckled yesterday by locals in Clapham who were shouting “where’s your broom!”

The Mayor subsequently picked up a broom and approached the crowds saying you are the “real spirit of London”.

He also went on to say: “I want to say first of all to everybody who owns a shop, to everybody who owns a business here, how very sorry I am for the loss and the damage that you have suffered.”

Mr Johnson was out and about today and was in Enfield and he said to the inflamed community ” “Obviously we cannot be complacent. We cannot guarantee anything because you never know, but we think we have got it on the way to being sorted out.”

The Police have responded to their soft tactics against the looters – although yesterday saw a rioter in Manchester being hit several times with a baton – a police spokesman said it was sometimes too “risky” to make an arrest. The spokesperson went on to say:

“It is simply wrong to suggest officers were initially told not to actively arrest those involved in disorder,” and further said

“As always the decision to make an arrest is down to the individual officer on the ground who must weigh up whether it is appropriate bearing in mind risks of further inflaming the crowd, wider operational requirements and our ability to gather evidence to arrest later.”

The problem that the locals all across the UK have is that they should have been protected against the looters and the police’s softer tactics are seen as being the result of extensive damage to property which could have been avoided if they were more “robust” as their operations are now going to be.

In court today for looting was an eleven year old and a man who works as a teachers assistant – the boy and man admitted charges to looting. The clean up has been happening all over the country and boarding up of damaged buildings and shops.

The Prime-minister said today “We will take every action necessary to restore the order on our streets.”

Tim Godwin – The Acting Chief Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police said of yesterday nights rioting scene in London as “far quieter” compared with the riots on Monday, he said “there will be many more arrests to come” and “we will catch them all.” He talked of the support received from the community “who are standing up and saying this is outrageous”.

David Cameron has announced that “every action will be taken to restore order, with contingency plans for water cannons to be available at 24 hours’ notice.”

The latest is that Keith Vaz the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee has said “his committee will decide on Thursday whether to hold an inquiry into what has happened” if an inquiry is held it will look at the causes of the riots. (21:30pm)

An image from Croydon on Monday (8/8/2011) which has become prolific in the riots media coverage shows a woman jumping from her flat:

The image made the front pages of many newspapers including: The Guardian, Times, Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Telegraph and it also made the inside pages of all other national titles.

An A4 sized leaflet has been making the rounds amongst many apparently, it was found outside an Argos store in Dalston, which informs rioters not to panic if they think they may be identified from photos in Tottenham and provides advice:

The leaflet apparently gives a further insight into the fact that their is a certain amount of organisation amongst the rioters.

The latest is that a Sikh place of worship (Gurudwara) is on fire in Derby and this is in the aftermath of a mosque apparently being burnt a few days ago – RUMOURS FOR NOW – YET TO BE CONFIRMED (A Sangat TV reporter reported this via a tweet) (1:41am) The Gurudwara on fire turned out to be a car on fire nearby from further reports. As for the Mosque it is said to have had missiles thrown at it by two teenager boys – who are now being questioned – this happened on Monday 8th August.

Sangat TV made the BBC news for their broadcasting of exclusive footage of the riots globally; the BBC said of Sangat TV “SANGAT TV, which was unheard of by most people just a few days ago, has taken viewers right to the heart of the disorder with its own unique style of reporting and plea for calm.” The footage was re-broadcast by News channels in India and also by SKY, CNN and the BBC the footage was of riots in Birmingham.

There have been many arrests and this has seen some courts open throughout the night.

Three teenage boys have been arrested in relation to the Sony Warehouse in Enfield; Indie labels music was stocked there and the fire has left Sony without their artists’ CD’s including one of their signings Adele also the UK film industry will be at a loss as many film companies had their stock within their warehouse, which was due for distribution. The burning of the building began on Monday 8th August.

The fifth night saw less violence, and from reports a car was on fire – Birmingham and the Midlands were the areas which were being looked at carefully by the Police – Eltham also saw some incidents and missiles were thrown at the police.

“Britain’s fifth night of rioting has passed with less violence but no clear end to the problem. The Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to reverse cuts in welfare, including such services as youth clubs in deprived areas.” (ABC NEWS – Australian)

Last night is being reported as calm in most cities. Eltham and many other places have had non-looters patrolling alongside the police – the following is an image from Eltham last night.

There is concern that the EDL – and the BNP will use what is being described as vigilante turnouts to their own advantage for inciting racial tensions.

David Cameron is to speak to Parliament (11:30am), which is being recalled today to discuss the riots in the country. He said: When there are important events in our country, it is right that Parliament is recalled and that we show a united front.” He also went on to say: “More than 1,500 people have now been arrested across the country” and said we are “a year away from the Olympics, we need to show them the Britain that doesn’t destroy, but that builds; that doesn’t give up but stands up; that doesn’t look back, but always forwards”.

 

Croydon’s House of Reeves furniture store : the aftermath of one of the largest iconic fires throughout the London riots

A debate  has begun from 19:00pm at Parliament which will see statements from ministers on the riots it is expected to last until 11:00pm.

186 Police officers have been reported as injured since Saturday 6th August when the riots began in Tottenham and spread across the UK.

Latest reports from yesterday and today (11/8/2011) about the riots, are that apparently, some journalists in Leicester paid youths to riot in Leicester:

4th Night of London Riots – 9/8/2011

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Police Helicopters are scanning the sky and helping with riot police operations to stop the violence, erupting all across England, and most recently in Manchester, where the shopping centre – like many others has been targeted. (19:43pm)

Today saw the Police apprehending looters at their homes on the front of their drives; in an effort to stamp out these violent looters and their arsenic ways. One of the scenes on the streets, – were fireworks – set off by rioters.

A bus on fire Croydon

Riots in Enfield, Edmonton, and Walthamstow; Croydon – saw a bus on fire and clashes with the police, Brixton saw a Footlocker store on fire.

There has been much talk of what measures should be used by the police in relation to riots; whether the police should implement the use of plastic bullets and whether watercannons should be used.

The IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) is still to provide further information on the shooting of Mr Mark Duggan, who was said to be in possession of a gun illegally. The specialist firearms department called C019 were said to have fired shots and Mr Duggan was pronounced dead on the scene. A C019 officer had a bullet in his radio from what is said to be a ricocheted police bullet.  The IPCC are saying that the inquiry could take up to six months.

An inquest into Mr Duggan’s death was opened at North London Coroner’s Court in High Barnet and adjourned until 12 December. (BBC).

One thing is for sure – the police will be out in force tonight; this has been an issue for many residents saying that there was a lack of police whilst looting was taking place and there was no police protection being provided. Residents in Clapham voiced this view vociferously to London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Manchester’s shopping centre is being over-run by 1000’s of youths, riot police are operating with the use of police vans, officers, helicopters, dogs and horses. Miss Selfridge is on fire.  (19:50)pm. There have been reports that 2000 rioters have been vandalising the city centre.

Woolwich is seeing clashes with the police . (21:00pm)

Earlier in the day, saw West Bromwich on the riot scene, with windows being smashed, bins set on fire, and mobs of people around the city centre.

David Cameron is to hold another COBRA meeting tomorrow (Wednesday). David Cameron referred to the riots as “appalling scenes” and talked of rioters even attacking fire crews whilst they tried to put out fires. He also said that there will be “Many arrests to come”.

The disorder taking place has brought up talks of the Army being brought in; although most talks of this has been ruled out by ministers and Simon Reed who is the Vice Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Parked cars have been burnt in Manchester – scenes which started of in Tottenham have gone on to be copied in London and further i.e. – the multiple shopping centre attacks. 15 arrests in Manchester and Salford. Police station in Nottingham has been fire-bombed by 30-40men, no injuries reported.

The media have found themselves being attacked in their efforts to report the events happening across London – the journalists, photographers, and camera operators have been the peaceful ones on the streets; and they have also been targeted for their mobile phones and camera equipment. The police have been using video camera’s to record people’s actions, similar to as they did at the student protests of November 2010.

12:02am: Riots ongoing in Manchester – arrests being made are also ongoing.

21 year old man has been arrested for the huge Croydon fire on the furniture store called – House of Reeves. Police in London doing their best to keep law and order – earlier on saw clashes with the police.

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